Waging peace seems to be the natural outcome of seeing what is and practicing kindness. Just as getting a sunburn is the natural outcome of sitting out in the sun too long, or smiling is the natural outcome of playing with a baby, so waging peace seems to be the natural outcome of seeing things as they are when our motivation is basic kindness.
Actually, in real life what happens is you see what is, are impelled/motivated to do something of benefit, and then need to see what actually could be done that would be of help. Which can be called “waging peace.”
For example, you recognize that many people go hungry every day (seeing what is), and want to do something about it even though you don’t personally know these people (true kindness.) So you decide to click on The Hunger Site every morning, when you first log onto your computer. That might not seem like much, but tell that to the starfish.
Different faith traditions talk about waging peace in different ways.
- In Buddhism this is called “skillful means,” and it is always linked with insightto seeing what is. One of the most interesting images is that of the Bodhisattva Avilokiteshvara – the Bodhisattva of Compassion. He is often pictured as having 1000 arms, and on the hand of each arm is an eye. The combination of seeing what is and waging peace.
- In Judaism there is the idea of a “mitzvah” as in “Bar Mitzvah.” It means “good deed” and in a Bar Mitzvah the young person’s first (Bar) good deed is to read from the Torah.
- Christians have good works – and some debate about if you get into heaven through faith or good works. And of course, there is the Golden Rule.
Do unto others as you would have others do unto you
Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.
Do unto others as they need.
What this implies is that in order to benefit others we have to not only want to be of help, we need to know what they need.