What does one define as peace? For the person you met on the commute, it could be a day off from work, a day where he doesn’t have to worry about completing his work or running behind on his bills. For the silent girl in class, it could be the cancellation of class, a full night where she doesn’t need to worry about submission dates but instead can engross herself in her favorite book. Well, to be honest a cancellation of any type of work usually brings peace to most people. Maybe it could be inferred that a break from a routine could bring peace. But it could also be thought as the natural laziness imbedded in all beings, the pleasure to do nothing, that brings us joy. It wouldn’t be right to call that true peace.
But this doesn’t mean that the action of doing nothing can not bring peace. A break doesn’t necessarily bring joy only due to it being a break; it brings one peace when we take a minute to just realize the situation around us, giving us the benefit of the doubt, not knowing what will happen tomorrow but understanding our existence right here and now. Meditation is one such example of breaking the daily routine to find time for ourselves. Maybe peace is always found in oneself. Does that mean no matter what, true peace can always be achieved if we just look deep in ourselves?
Try to paint this picture in your head. You are trekking along the curves of the mountain range in Switzerland. It’s nothing but you, the fresh wind blowing by, few chirps from the lone birds in the sky, the confused looks from a few mountain goats and the blissful silence of the altitude. You come upon an old wooden bench. In front of it is a poorly painted fence and a view of the mountain ranges. The surrounding flowers beckon you towards the bench, your tired legs blindly answer the call. You sit down and simply look ahead. Nothing else. No boss, no teacher, no tax collector, no responsibilities, no worries. In that moment its just you and your surroundings.
Time to reimagine the frame. You wake up next to your loved one, the soft blanket covering her face partly. You move aside the blanket just to get a look at the one who makes you feel like yourself. You get up to make yourself some morning coffee. The stock in the fridge disappoints you; money just seems to always be tight. You get ready for work and the loved one appears at the doorstep. A simple kiss reassures you that its all going to be alright.
Maybe a single frame might not be enough to capture all the different possibilities. A canvas which resets for every new person would be idle, like the toy from our childhood. The situation which brings one peace can be varying degrees of the two above scenarios (perhaps you are rich in the second one) or they could be different altogether (maybe you want to jog the whole length of the great wall of china while balancing an egg). I personally prefer the first scenario as my picture of peace, the guy next door probably imagines something else as his peace. One’s scenario of peace could also be as simple as being in tune with oneself.
There is no right way to define peace. As sadistic as is sounds, some people could find peace in others suffering. Delving into this topic will make me lose my sleep, and sleep is one thing that brings everyone immense peace. The feeling of losing control and simply being free.
We could argue peace is freedom or it is being true to oneself or it is achieving one’s goals or it is the simple sounds of nature. Peace depends on how we define it. We shall never be at peace until we realize what make us reach the state, and in the process, we risk losing what we set out for. Its simply up to us to choose what bring us true peace, what makes us stop the continuous ticking of our clocks, even for a moment.