In a college course on negotiation and conflict management, I was asked to read the Anatomy of Peace. This was years ago, and I still think about what that book teaches me. It had such a great impact on me that I kept my copy. I read it again a couple times each year. The Anatomy of Peace talks about what a heart at peace really is, and how to claim it.
Sure this isn’t my usual nerd-article fare, but I believe it’s important. Just as important as other posts I’ve written that have nothing to do with being a huge nerd.
What Can a Heart at Peace Really Do?
Last night I was reading several pieces of news and I felt really, really sad. The world we live in is a mess. We live in a time when racial tensions, protests and counter-protests, violence, bigotry, and worse are all we seem to see. I believe having a heart at peace is the starting point for the solution to all of these problems.
And it’s not just world issues or things that I read in the news that make me sad. I’ve heard stories from my wife about students, I know friends who struggle and hurt, and I know that I have far too often been warring against those around me. A heart at peace is the starting point from which I believe we can solve those problems too.
It might sound like a cliche. It might sound unrealistic or oversimplified. After all, how can having a heart at peace solve the United State’s racial divide? How can a heart at peace fix my frustration with the situations I face in life?
My answer is that it can’t. What having a heart at peace does do is open up a world of options. It will help you to see more clearly, to negotiate more honestly, and to be more comfortable in your own skin. Having a heart at peace isn’t about trying to change others into what you think they should be. It’s about becoming what you know you should be, and inviting everyone around you to do the same.
How Do I Get a Heart at Peace?
I’m not the most eloquent person, and I don’t think that I can do what The Anatomy of Peace does. Honestly, if you want to take steps toward the benefits of having a heart at peace, start by reading The Anatomy of Peace. It’s written like a story, and a good one. This is where I start. For me, a heart at peace starts by reminding myself of the principles and basics in that book.
Having a heart at peace isn’t an easy road. If you take it seriously, you’ll find that you have no place to hide your flaws and justifications anymore. Even better, though, is that you won’t need to. The hard part comes in the days and weeks following your first reading of The Anatomy of Peace. Maintaining a heart at peace isn’t easy, and it’s something I fail at regularly.
But at its core, a heart at peace is the starting point for solving all of our problems. It doesn’t matter what kind. Our problems are systemic, they’re pervasive, and they’re deeply personal to each of us. Even so, a heart at peace is the starting point. I really believe that.
If you take nothing else from this article, please, PLEASE read The Anatomy of Peace and take it seriously. With only one or two exceptions, this is the book that has changed my life most, and always for the better.
Buy the Anatomy of Peace
You can buy The Anatomy of Peace via Amazon or at many local bookstores.
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