I am still quite young but through some of my experiences and travel, I have picked up 7 Philosophies of Peace that I try to live by. These philosophies may help some people or at least start a conversation. Feel free to comment below.
1. “When someone is hurting or asking for help, believe them.” Far too often people question a person’s life circumstance or worse, are accusatory. What I’ve learned is that we will never know a person’s whole story and we should try not to judge. Listen and be an ally to them. Judging can lead to anger and sometimes hate.
2. “Don’t judge.” People proclaim that only God can judge and in the same breath judge someone else. The more people I meet and the more experiences I obtain, I’ve realized that judging a person’s choices or existence is toxic. It does not do you any good nor is it beneficial to the person you are judging.
3. “Validate feelings.” When someone is upset, angry, excited, sad, happy, depressed or feeling any other way, validate those feelings. It is demoralizing when someone belittles how you feel. What one does with those feelings is a whole different layer, but we should never dismiss how someone feels even if we think that it may be insignificant. That could be the hardest thing they are dealing with at that moment in their life. Support them, don’t judge them.
4. “Unconditional love.” It means no conditions. No exceptions. No buts. No Howevers. Love whoever and whenever you can. Even love your enemy. Often said but rarely applied.
5. “Service is hard and sometimes not fun.” You should help others because it is the right thing to do, not because of recognition or appreciation. The biggest gift of service is someone else allowing you to help them. Because we all know that admitting we need help is sometimes difficult. Although a thank you is nice it is not necessary when helping others.
6. “Refrain from stating I understand.” We often say that we understand when someone is going through a struggle when in fact we may not fully understand. Instead, say that I love you and I am here for you. Sometimes you will never understand and that is okay, it doesn’t mean you can’t care.
7. “Death and change.” These are the only two things in life guaranteed. It may seem ominous but I feel that it is liberating. Life is so precious and I try to live it to the fullest when I can. And nothing ever stays the same. The most successful people are those who either embrace change or anticipate it. Change can be scary but is necessary and inevitable.
The picture below was taken on a service trip in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where I learned many life lessons.