I pondered this after reading the recent blog of Dr. Lissa Rankin. She had traveled to a small village in the Peruvian Andes to research material for her upcoming book. What she learned was something unexpected. The moment she arrived she sensed the feeling of peace that filled the village. Incidents that occurred during her stay led her to discover that they did not quite understand the concepts of depression, anxiety or suicide.
Tonight I turned on the television to see the Miss America pageant being broadcast. They were showcasing different facts about the contestants in little boxes on the side of the screen. One contestant reportedly owns 130 pairs of shoes! I thought this a sharp contrast to the people around the world who may not even own a pair of shoes, and yet can still find joy. In the Andean village, Dr. Rankin observed children happily playing all day with kites they had constructed out of sticks and bags. They were full of joy and laughter – and they did not need an Xbox to be happy.
Perhaps it is the cultural difference. Or maybe it’s the media influence on us. Soon it will be holiday shopping season and the focus will be on, “I want that! I need that!”
But do we really need “that?” A recent survey revealed that what people really craved was more time. Even with all the time-saving technological devices we have, we still don’t seem to have enough time. We can’t buy time! Well, we can hire people to do some of those chores we don’t like. Will having more time give us more peace?
What drives us? Is it the next cool phone? The thinnest laptop? Laptops are getting smaller and phones bigger. I think it amusing that cellphones began large, strove to get smaller and now are getting bigger!
Do the people in this village care that they don’t have the latest cellphone? Or do they savor the simplicity and satisfaction of face-to-face conversation? Someone told me recently that they prefer texting versus talking! OMG! I’d love to drop him on top of that mountain!
We don’t need to move elsewhere to enjoy feelings of peace, connection and joy. We don’t have to give away all our possessions. We can cultivate a sense of peace no matter what our circumstances. Find more joy in spending quality time with a loved one, celebrating the simple pleasures of a sunrise and a cup of coffee, and a little less dependence on our possessions. Find the joy in discovering your purpose during a quiet moment.
What do you need to give you peace? Maybe you don’t need anything more. Maybe it is already inside you and all you have to do is to get quiet, accept the “now” and you will feel that peace.
Have a peace filled week!