Practice peace, gain better understanding


When humanity becomes perfect, there will be peace and understanding throughout the world.

Violence, killing, terrorism and hatred will end. So what do we do in the meantime? Perhaps we make perfecting ourselves part of our daily life and keep at it until it becomes second nature. They say practice makes perfect.

On a personal level, we're challenged by mean-spirited, cranky, sometimes violent folks testing our patience and impeding our journey to perfection. We have the choice to "bite off the head" of these perpetrators or react in a calm, rational, kind way. When we unthinkingly and quickly react to these challenges, incidents of road rage, bar fights and assorted other violent situations erupt. Quick reactions also, more often than not, lead to shouting, yelling and too often, violence toward those closest to us.

Quick reactions generally make a bad situation worse. The individual on the receiving end of an outburst often responds in kind, leading to a more heated situation or even hostility. And there you have the beginning of an excursion toward yelling, screaming, fighting, violence and social upheaval.

Unfortunately, there will be times when we yell at our kids or our spouse or our friends since we are not perfect, but shouldn't we practice the utmost restraint, rationality and kindness with them first and foremost? Platitudes and campaign slogans fly regarding family values, how important the family is to community and the nation, how we would do anything for the good of our family, yet, when the rubber meets the road, there we are yelling, hitting and in the extreme, killing children and spouses.

By now you're thinking I've gone off the deep end by suggesting that "innocent" outbursts in the home and with our friends can lead to unspeakable tragedy, but let's be realistic. When a child, any child, whether in the United States or any country, is reared with screaming and cruelty, that becomes a child's frame of reference. The child believes this is how one acts and responds to others. You see children and parents in action in public and wonder what it's like at home.

We in Boulder City are fortunate to live in a place of so much natural and man-made beauty with a climate that most would envy. There is a considerable number of kind, caring folks working toward helping others and perfecting themselves. We are one auspicious collection of rare individuals making it even more essential for us to work toward understanding each other better, teaching that to our children and showing that to our fellow residents.

In the pursuit of perfection, we are all equal. Any power or influence we have or think we have over others comes from them. We give authority to the government. We give power to the very rules we live by. If we are all equal, everyone needs to be treated as such and everyone needs to express their individuality and display their power. We cannot have "them" versus "us" situations. We are either all in this life together or we are not.

No matter what side of a decision or issue we are on, all of us bear the consequences, good or bad, of all decisions. No, it's not fair, but some of us are seen as winners and others losers. The "winners" flexed their muscles. Their voices dominated the conversation, right or wrong, good or bad. Only time will determine a final conclusion for the majority.

The "losers" now have the opportunity to rise above "good or bad" or "us and them." Calmly tackle the larger issue that was "lost."

Choose an issue that's labeled "good or bad" or seen as "us versus them." If you believe that peace and understanding must always be the final outcome, or, you profess to work toward that outcome, it will arrive through unruffled thinking, not as a violent noise, but as a calming melody for all to sing.

— Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at roseannrab@hotmail.com or at 702-339-9082.