Today is a holiday in the United States when we take time to remember all the men and women who were engaged either directly in battle or indirectly through the war efforts.
It is a time that we are to stop and reflect upon the freedoms that we do have and remember what others have sacrificed to make it possible.
However, this should also be a day that we stop to remind ourselves of just how costly wars can be. The loss of life, liberty, and property for people all over the world is a reminder that battles bring death, destruction, and sorrow.
But what of those inner wars that we fight every day at home and in the workplace?
I have always been puzzled by the use of the phrase, “to fight for peace.” I have found that those battles that go on inside of me were never successfully “fought.”
Even in my greatest teeth-gritting determination, I never obtained peace until I was able to lay down my ego weapons and pick up “non-resistance” as my state of mind. This is not being a door mat, but merely realizing that we often fight over issues which are insubstantial or not even our business.
Workplace wars are the most difficult, and they frequently claim many casualties as we attempt to fight for peace in the workplace. Often it is our own attitudes that poison the environment.
Sometimes we are not even aware of our negative attitude until the environment is so toxic that the workplace is suffering. As the story goes, many decades ago the coal miners who were working in the caves were exposed to harmful dust and gasses.
To alert them to an unsafe environment, they would carry a caged canary with them into the bowels of the caves. When the canary ceased to sing, they then knew they were in a dangerous situation.
How often has the canary in our workplace been silenced by the toxins that spew forth from underground battles? Do we miss the singing that we have often come to expect only to find out too late that we have the ability to “cease fire,” declare a truce, and end the wars?
I do not want to minimize what Memorial Day is really about by comparing personal and workplace conflicts to battles fought by the men and women whom we honor today.
However, it is only when we realize that peace does not begin in some foreign country, but right here in our own homes and workplace, and truly advocate for peaceful ways of resolving conflicts, that we will experience peace.
Affirmation for the Week:
“Peace begins with and within me.”
Have a pleasant and peace-filled week.
Mary “Motivator” Rau-Foster