(50) True Peace

Let’s start at the beginning; “We can never have peace if you don’t find peace within yourself”.

“Peace can only become true peace when every individual makes peace within him or herself”.
Translated from;  ‘Het verstoorde leven’ van Etty Hillesum, June 20, 1942

Etty Hillesum was Jewish and 27 years old when she wrote the above in her diary. She lived in a room in Amsterdam and experienced all that a Jewish woman under the German occupation had to suffer.

Actually, everyone should read her journals. The courage and the peace that radiate from her journals put everything I have experienced in my life in perspective. About the occupying forces she only writes with understanding and that while she hardly had anything to eat, had to carry out hard labour, had to carry a Jewish star and her friends were deported one by one to the concentration camps.

“We can never have true peace if you have no peace within yourself.”

Another example is the 16 year old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai. Two years ago she was shot in the head by the Talban because she was – despite her young age – a supporter for the right of education for girls. In the UK, Malala recovered from her severe injuries and has now become an international figurehead for the right to education for women. In 2013 she spoke to the United Nations. “Books and pens are our most powerful weapons,” she said,

These beautiful women have peace within themselves and the courage to defy the biggest dramas you can imagine. They give me hope, because if they can do this we all can do this.

But how many people do experience peace within themselves and in particular after the loss of a loved one? Wouldn’t it be fantastic when we all, after a loss, can find peace within ourselves and be able to extend this peace to others. Wouldn’t it be great when we do not condemn each other anymore; because we understand each other. Wouldn’t it be beautiful when we all, just like the above women, can carry our destiny proudly and have the courage to stand up for the weaker members of our society.

But let’s start at the beginning; “We can never have peace if you don’t find peace within yourself”.