THE SPIRIT OF PEACE SINGS

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By: Ayo Ayoola-Amale, a Peace builder.
I sat high upon a mountain overlooking the world. I saw the oneness of all creation. The day before I had slipped out of Accra, I knew that if I could always remain on the mountaintop I would never descend into the valley. In complete harmony I could be of greater usefulness. I could be of greater service to humanity. When I woke up at dawn I was in New Delhi, the breath of a new life in the year 2015.The spirit of peace in India filled everywhere with boundless energy that grew with time. I was surrounded by all the good things, like love, peace and joy in every city, in all the institutions, and places I visited and by all the lovely people I met. I felt very uplifted, more uplifted- every flower, every tree, seemed to wear a halo. Importantly, was the realization of the oneness of all creation. Life on the peace path agreed with me.
The message of the Hindu gods, the Buddha in Buddhism, and Islam was a simple one: overcome evil with good, hatred with love and falsehood with truth. This was the message of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our inner peace comes first, and then peace will be attainable among individuals, the community, the nations and the world. The Universal message of perennial, spiritual truths is clothed in this simple and understandable life.
It was not the Scholars erudition that spoke at this World Conference but the eternal truth released in its full effulgence in this gathering. Incredible India!
ISISAR in collaboration with WCPA, IPPNO (USA) and Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture organized World Thinkers’ & Writers” Peace Meet 2015 on the central theme ‘Religions, Cultural Harmony and Peace’, dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, a celebrated Peace Thinker and Humanist.
Swami Vivekananda through his life and works highlighted the essentials for world peace-respecting and accepting variety in religion and cultures but recognizing their underlying unity and giving each individual greater human worth and a higher common destiny.
International Scholars, Poets, Writers, Philosophers, Educators etc, from all over the world attended the five days conference. I gave presentation titled “The Role of Religious Leaders in Peace Building.” I recited my peace poems and spoke on the Culture of Peace and active Non-Violence etc.
THE WHISPER OF A HIGHER SELF
I knew what I was to do after attending the conference in Kolkata; I wore the garb of my mission. I flew from City to City for Peace. I took wings to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bangalore, Cochin, Coimbatore, Chennai and finally to New Delhi.
I gave presentations on various topics in Legal, Social and Political Reforms, Human Rights, Interfaith Dialogue, Global Peace, I spoke about the Culture of Peace and active Non-Violence and about the way to peace., Gandhi’s Leadership model, Peace Education etc. and also recited my Peace Poems. I also spoke of my own personal experiences and insights, in different Universities and colleges in seven cities in India on a World Peace tour series as an Ambassador for Peace SRMT, courtesy of the benevolence of the great Mission Trust of India and the genius of Prof S. A. R. P.V Chaturvedi.
I was very happy to meet the wonderful SRMT family- Respected Swamiji Chaturvedi in Coimbatore, Prof Swaminadham in Hyderabad , Justice P.K Shamsuddin in Cochin, Justice Dr T.N Vallinayagam in Chennai, Lovely Ms Gomathi, Ravi and other brothers and sisters in Chennai.
I was warmly welcomed with bouquet of flowers. I was honored with the Indian national symbol plaque and received Silver plaque, and very lovely gifts and books. I had a wonderful and memorable time in India! Surely, the important things of living, is a committed existence of love and service.
Several questions were asked by University students. I hereby share some:
1. QUE: when and how did I start my service to humanity?
My response to this was: Service to others has always been part of my life. This is so because it gives my life meaning. When I was in secondary school, I thought deeply what I really wanted for my life. It was then I felt a complete willingness, without any reservations, to give my life to something beyond myself – to dedicate my life – to service. Then a great peace came over me. I joined Girls Guide and the Red Cross Society. I was very committed and gave my all.
When I was in the university I joined the Rotaract Club (junior Rotary) and Women In Nigeria (WIN).
This was the turning point for my life. I can never go back to completely self-centered living.
2. Question from a University student: Can Poetry bring world peace?
My Answer:
No, not exactly. My responsibility as a poet and peace builder is to rouse people from apathy and make them think….”
The path to peace is to provide an environment where everyone can flourish devoid of any form of discrimination- religion, race, gender,etc. The path of Truth, justice, and Non-violent resolution is the part to peace.
There is within the hearts of every human being a deep desire for peace, and they would speak for peace if they were not bound by apathy, by ignorance or by fear. It is the responsibility of peacemakers to inspire them from their apathy, to dispel their ignorance with truth, to allay their fear with faith that God’s laws work for good….the way of peace is the way of love. The greatest power on earth is love. It conquers all things… Simply, the way to peace is to overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
3. Question: How did you find peace within you?
My Answer: There is a difference between the willingness to give of myself and the actual giving. During this period I was engaged in a great struggle between my “lower, self-centered nature,” and the “higher, God-centered nature. So there is a constant struggle. This can only be fully controlled by the God-centered nature. When the God-centered nature took over, i found inner peace.
I believe that overcoming selfishness and gaining release from its power were key to attaining inner peace and spiritual maturity. I believed that when you attain that physical, mental and emotional maturity- you would be in total harmony and control of the self. I feel my faith in God strengthen as an omnipotent source of divine inspiration.
Mankind must learn the way of peace. My message is that whatever you feel called to do for peace in the world do it.

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