According to English poet John Milton, “Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war.”
“How wars start?” The child asked his parents. “The reason is economic,” said the mother. “No, political differences cause wars,” the father retorted. The mother felt slighted and said more emphatically, “No, you are wrong. The reason behind wars has always been economic.” The difference of opinions didn’t stop here. It acquired the form of almost a quarrel. The boy intervened and said, “Please stop here. Now I understand how wars begin.”
A man came home with some purchases which he had made in the market. On opening the bundle, he found that some of the articles were not up to the mark. He felt enraged and went back fully determined to teach a lesson to the shopkeeper. On the way, he continued finding pungent answers to all the arguments which the shopkeeper might put forward not to take back or change the article. But, the young customer was surprised to see the shopkeeper feeling sorry for the inconvenience caused and apologetically made the necessary amends.
Thus do quarrels and wars begin in the minds of men. The founders of the United Nations Organisation, Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of England, and Theodore Roosevelt, the President of USA, had uttered these words of wisdom at the inauguration ceremony. They said that the U.N.O. will end wars in the minds of men and hence the future generations will not have to live under the pangs of destruction and suffering which the world had to go through during the two world wars within a space of 25 years only.
The disturbed mental state of a man doesn’t only harm him, but also affects his neighbourhood and makes the whole environment unhealthy. Thoughts of avarice, jealousy, enmity, etc, create unhealthy vibes which in turn pollute the atmosphere, nay, the whole universe. In short, the state of strife and want of peaceful conditions is due to conflicts which continuously go on in our minds. Since we like to quarrel with our own selves, we inadvertently create conditions for wars to begin in the world outside us.
Our young men and women would do well to take a lesson from such facts of life and avoid quarrelling among themselves. When you prepare for an examination, a series of questions arise within you, such as, how I shall fare at the examination, what will happen if I don’t succeed, what other examinees are doing, whether I will be selected or not, Mr X shouldn’t be one of the successful candidates, etc. In this way, thoughts of uncertainty, avarice, jealousy, etc, haunt our minds, with the result that our studies are disturbed and we are not able to devote as much time to the task at hand as we ought to. Do you think this inner conflict does any good to you and helps you in achieving your aim? If not, then stop this war within you and take your assignments seriously. Once for all, be at peace with yourself and devote your full time and energy for the aim you have decided to achieve. Try this and you will be surprised to see that your grasping power has tremendously improved. You will become much more efficient in other walks of life as well.
History tells us that all the works of art and inventions of science were made during the days of peace. Had there been no times of peace, humanity wouldn’t have made any progress in the realms of civilisation and culture. We know that war brings about miseries and destruction, while peace brings out opportunities for construction and invention. The great English poet has rightly remarked that peace hath her victories no less renowned than war.
Who doesn’t want to be at peace with himself and his neighbours? But a peace loving person must know that to be at peace with the neighbour, it is essential to be at peace with one’s own self. What is required is to cultivate positive traits in oneself and learn to be at peace with oneself. We should abjure all the negative traits of character and nurture positive attributes so as to be meaningful not only to ourselves and our family but for all mankind. If we really wish to bring peace to the world, we must be at peace ourselves.
—The writer is a student at Govt Degree College Kulgam. [email protected]