In my language Kirundi, we say “Ntawutanga ico adafise” which means, you cannot give what you don’t have. This is similar to how Peace Revolution project envisions peacebuilding with its PIPO (Peace In – Peace Out) concept, putting emphasis on cultivating inner peace first before spreading peace to the outer world.
I have been receiving invitations to participate in various peace conferences by different organizations involved in peace building, but one important question that arises is: what are those conferences aiming at? According to my understanding, such conferences are meant for teaching techniques and strategies on how to become a peace activist in one’s community and surrounding. There is nothing bad in that, but if participants are not taught techniques and strategies on how to find peace from within, we can’t expect any sustainable peace. However, if we have inner peace, we spread it to our surroundings from one individual to another. The more this process expands, the more we move towards a sustainable world peace. Therefore, PIPO concept becomes one of the most effective strategies in communities’ peace building.
Moreover, as peace comes from within, so does pessimism and negativity. Imagine, when the mind accumulates a junk of negativity and pessimism, the entire world becomes negative and the subject becomes pessimist. This can happen to anybody in certain difficult moments of their life. Yet, we deserve a healthy, peaceful and happy life which we can only get from a positive mindset. On this note, I would like to share some interesting tips from Henrik Edberg’s Positivity Blog that would help us overcome pessimism and negativity inviting more peace and calm in our life:
1) Start replacing negativity in your surroundings and life: What you let into your mind during your regular day will have a big effect on how you think and feel. So, start questioning what you let come into your mind.
2) Stop making mountains out of a molehill: The easiest way to ground yourself in a situation where you start to sense that you may be making a mountain out of a molehill is to zoom out a bit on your life by using a question like: will this matter in 5 years? Or even in 5 weeks?
3) Be grateful for a few of the things you may often take for granted: When your lens (that you view your daily life through) is tinted in a negative way, it is easy to miss the things you can actually be grateful for. Take a minute as you get out of bed in the morning or get into it in the evening and put your attention on a few such things of which you can be thankful for: three steady meals a day; a roof over my head; my caring family, friends, etc. You’ll find many of them that you hadn’t thought before.
4) Come back to this moment (and stay here): When you’re on a train of negative thoughts, you’re often thinking about something that you could or should have done or said. Or you’re thinking about something that could happen. Or maybe a mix of the two of them as a past experience or two build a monster in your mind about what the future may bring. To get out of any of those places, snap back into this moment – to what is right here, right now.
5) Get a positive start to your day: The first few things you do in the morning often set the tone for your entire day. If you get off to a negative or pessimistic start, it can be quite hard to shake those feelings or perspective. But if you get your morning off to a positive start, then it becomes a lot easier to stay with that emotion and the optimism all the way to the evening and bedtime.
Just like peace and happiness, also pessimism and negativity come from within, from the mind. The condition of the mind is actually what determines the view of the world. Hence, mind needs to be consistently taken care of. And this can be done through various strategies and techniques, among which, we highlighted some of the important ones in this article.