Finding peace through family

It is no accident that we celebrate the International Day of Families, and that one day later, we celebrate the International Day of Living Together in Peace.
In my mind, that is pure poetry — the universe smiling down and reminding us that we can’t have one without the other. Families and peace.
And both are precisely what the world needs right now. There is nothing more powerful (and beautiful) than loving families spreading joy in a time when the world is filled with such despair. Happy and united families create peaceful communities, which create the strength and hope we need to endure these times. It’s that simple.
Of course, families are more than the people with whom we share a home — parents and children, or aunts and uncles. Family is any group of individuals who are united by a common connection. And there is no bigger connection than the Earth. And no greater family than the human race.
The world has never experienced a phenomenon of such epic and global proportions as what we are facing today. Coronavirus is a word that now lives in the minds of all citizens of the planet, regardless of nationality, faith, ideology, or economic standing. We are all facing the same uncertain future. We are all talking about our shared experiences, fears, and hopes. What will tomorrow look like?
Along the way, a new universal language has been born — masks, social distancing, flatten the curve, shelter-in-place, opening up the country. Who could have imagined that we would all have so much in common?
But the truth is, we have always had more in common than our differences. First of all, as part of the human family, we are all subject to our egos, fears, and worries, and all the things that come with living in a human body. And none of us are immune to the internal struggle to keep our minds from living in some awful future we imagine. Staying in the moment is a struggle we all face together.
Fortunately, we have other things in common as well, like our ability to transcend sorrow and overcome adversity. Or our ability to find meaning and purpose in our darkest hours. We share a creative spirit, an appreciation for beauty, and a need for laughter and play in our lives. We also share compassion and the kind hearts to care for another. And, of course, we share hope and love, and the inner guidance that beneath our flesh and bone, we are of the same spirit.
We are one. One family. United by the Universe.
Unfortunately, it has taken a pandemic to remind us — to show us who we are. And while there is no denying that the experiences we are going through right now is taking a profound physical, emotional, and financial toll on most of the planet, we can, hopefully, take comfort in the fact that the world is, once again, learning that we are on a common journey to find our way in this world and beyond.
We are a global family who has collectively, and individually, been given a chance to see what is important in life. We have been given the opportunity to look deep inside of our Soul, and in doing so, we are teaching ourselves how to slow down and simplify, to become quiet and still.
In other words, my friends, we have been given the gift of peace. Now, it is up to each of us to decide what we will do with it.
While it hurts to see the world in so much pain, I know that a conscious and peaceful spirit will always rise above earthly challenges. And I am filled with hope that we have opened our hearts to what has always been the fundamental principle of my peace campaign — that peace begins within. Within me. Within you. Within each human being in our personal and world family.
Our challenge now is to embrace this peace with gratitude and the personal responsibility to hold onto it long after this experience in time has passed. May we keep our minds and hearts open as we continue to surrender our fears and trust in the power of something far greater than ourselves.
And as we search for peace, freedom, and happiness, let us remember that we are never alone. Our family is always with us — seeking the same truths that we are.

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