“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” – John F. Kennedy

The world is upside down – that’s how the last years and current political and humanitarian developments and catastrophes on our planet feel like. 

For Europe, it started to get uncomfortable especially in 2015 with the refugee crisis- suddenly we were supposed to solve within the EU and w i t h  each other a major challenge and failed to do so. Then the increasingly frequent and often completely surprising consequences of global warming plus a pandemic that continues to dominate our daily lives.

And now war in Europe – after a period of peace of 70 years! The war in Ukraine with all the humanitarian consequences is incredibly touching – it hurts to see this inconceivable suffering of the innocent and it irritates and makes one angry that the ego of individuals leads to the suffering of so many innocent people and makes us all redefine peace and security.

I am very grateful that my faith in God and my prayers give me the strength to believe in the good in people and in humanity despite everything – no doubt current events have caused me to ask myself what peace means to me and to humanity and whether humanity is already capable of enduring lasting peace. 

For Mother Teresa, peace begins with a smile.

JU’s 3 questions for March 2022 are:

👉What does peace mean to you?

👉As humanity, are we really striving to create lasting peace for all?

👉What is your daily contribution to world peace – how can ‘peace’ come to our families and societies?

👩🏻🦱🇦🇹🇱🇻🇺🇸 Verena Teresa Eberl

I had the privilege of getting to know Verena in her first days of life – she was an adorable baby and is now a wonderful young woman. I am very grateful and happy to be her aunt and confirmation sponsor.

I have always admired in Verena, ‘Nena’, that she pursues and realizes plans very ambitiously, shows great interest in people of other cultures and has a big heart for all living beings on this planet. Verena loves nature, is a very peaceful person and advocates peaceful solutions wherever she can. She loves to travel and is currently very busy with building her house and her job as a social worker.

🧑🏻🦱🇦🇫🇮🇷🇦🇹🇮🇹 Azmatullah Yarukhel 

Azmatullah and I met in Vienna in 2015 – at that time I started an initiative with a colleague to show the city of Vienna to young asylum seekers on weekends. From the very beginning, I was struck by Azmatullah’s extremely helpful, solution-oriented manner and his openness.

I appreciate him for his perseverance and for his belief in the good.

We are still connected in cordiality and look forward to hopefully seeing each other again soon. Azmatullah lives and works in Milan.

👩🏼🇦🇹🇫🇷🇬🇧🇪🇸 Gabriele Haslinger – Yogabi

Gabi and I know each other from our elementary school days in our common hometown Zell am Pettenfirst. Although we very soon went different ways, we kept meeting each other – thus a friendship for life developed for which I am very grateful today.

I admire Gabi for her courage, her creativity, and her commitment to always discovering and trying out new things. This is also how she managed to build up her own business. Under the concept of ‘Personal Adjustments’ she offers Feldenkrais Method, Yoga, Zurich Resource Model and the Buteyko Breath Training among others. 

For 13 years she has been self-employed with this synergy of different movement and breath worlds, successfully navigating not only the high road of business life.

Website: https://www.gabriele-haslinger.at/ueber-mich/

👩🏻‍🦱🇦🇹🇱🇻🇺🇸 Verena Teresa Eberl

👉What does peace mean to you?

To me peace means to accept my counterpart as he/she is and not wanting to change, however, this can only work if you also feel peace within yourself and have no inner struggles and unrest. Inner peace is also turned outward and mirrored in the other person. Peace begins in the small – in the very small. Peace also means to me that I do not harm to any soul and thus do not perceive animals and our nature as consumer goods or disposable products. Peace also means to me that I deal honorably with my environment and my fellow men and am grateful that I may live on this earth.

👉As humanity, are we really striving to create lasting peace for everyone?

Basically, in my opinion, the desire for peace must be anchored in every soul, consciously or unconsciously. However, it is often something else that people strive for. People who do not live peacefully, usually strive to find themselves or to destroy something or to hurt someone, because they cannot find peace within themselves, and these numerous individual wounds must be healed before peace can happen, on a small and a large scale. Basically, however, I do believe that humanity is capable of living in peace permanently. Living in peace, however, also means giving and not striving for permanent (economic) growth. Living peace also means to make personal sacrifices – but for something great, for something beautiful!

👉What is your daily contribution to world peace – how can ‘peace’ come into our families and societies?

My (daily) contribution to world peace is that I basically try to put myself in my counterpart’s shoes and to learn to understand any actions that my counterpart takes that may seem incomprehensible to me. My contribution is also to support people in finding a piece of their own peace, my contribution is also to build bridges to let peace come in. Furthermore, it is for me an important point for my inner peace – to be grateful! Grateful for my life, for everything I may enjoy, for everything I may eat and drink! For the many wonderful people, I am allowed to meet, the many beautiful places I have already seen and am allowed to see. For my health! For the animals and nature that give us humans so much strength.  In addition, it is also part of my daily contribution to world peace to give other people a smile. Often the change for the good is already in the small things and steps!

Finally, I would like to quote Mahatma Ghandi – “There is no way to peace, peace is the way!”

🧑🏻🦱🇦🇫🇮🇷🇦🇹🇮🇹 Azmatullah Yarukhel

👉What does peace mean to you?

Peace can describe calmness, serenity, and silence. Peace means living our lives selflessly, treating others with respect, sharing the extra that comes to us with others who have been neglected. An example of peace is a feeling you have on a quiet Sunday morning as you sit on a deck in the woods and watch the birds. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. Peace in the only battle worth of fighting, Peace begins with a smile. Peace is always beautiful. Peace is Peace.

👉As humanity, are we really striving to create lasting peace for all?

The best thing anybody can do to contribute to world peace, is to be at peace with yourself. Find inner peace first. Exude peace in your heart, life etc.

How can we expect nations, communities to be at peace, if we cannot to be at peace with who we are, and with those around us?

My contribution to peace is that I’m forgetting and started making peace with all who has hurt and harmed me in the past and forgiving them.

👉What is your daily contribution to world peace – how can ‘peace’ come to our families and societies?

Peace in our families is different, like for example: working on boundaries, getting physical to release energy, maintaining as much as possible and the most important role are in my opinion prayers. I find prayers to bring peace to my heart and mind. Having a moment each day focusing on God reminds me that I have someone bigger than myself to lean on. 

And another important point is laughing more. Laughing and releasing something good inside me and inside of any homes and find creative ways to laugh more. When everything else fails, I watch babies laughing on.

3/1 Peace in Societies.

Peace in society becomes more familiar within your community, getting to know individuals from many different backgrounds and walking through life within your community may give you a new perspective on the problems faced in the community. Connections with neighbors, introducing yourself to the people around you, make a habit of introducing yourself to the people you meet in daily life. Show genuine interest in them and ask them questions about their lives, jobs, and families etc.

Walking around the neighborhood if it’s safe to do, taking public transportation, this will allow me to see, hear and experience the community and its members more intimately.

Plan peaceful events, explore volunteer opportunities, volunteering is a great way to help our community and it is also a good way to promote peace in my or in our society.

👩🏼🇦🇹🇫🇷🇬🇧🇪🇸 Gabriele Haslinger – Yogabi

👉What does peace mean to you?

“But above all, you shall see that there can never be peace between nations unless there is the first peace which dwells within the soul of man.” (@ Chief Black Elk)

We humans cling to polarity. We believe in the normality of day and night, east and west, and war and peace. Yet peace is not necessarily the absence of war. Peace is an inner state of being that no longer seeks an opposite.

👉Do we as humanity really strive to create lasting peace for all?

Greed against peace

For us as a society, I do not recognize any man-made aspirations for general peace in the world. If we are driven by greed and hunger for power, it will not play. On the political, international level, the intention of peace for the world can be felt even less these days than in the last 70 years. Even if I avoid the manipulation of the leading media and turn my eyes to the life on the street, I see only small lights, few own impulses going in the direction of peace and rarely I meet a person who lives in peace with himself.

No peace pill

It is true that there is always a message of peace from there or there and this and that symbol. We would like that: but there is no peace pill, no surgery, no therapy. We would like to have that. And BANG – peace in the world! That’s not how it works. 

Smile disarms

Everyone has to find peace for himself. In my experience, the less contact I have with the outside world, the less temptation there is to give up one’s own peace in favor of a lack of peace. When in doubt, a smile – as Mother Theresa already knew – has a disarming effect. 

👉What is your daily contribution to world peace – how can ‘peace’ come to our families and societies?

I spend more and more time with nature and with me. Little hustle and bustle distract me, I am cautious and believe little, remain skeptical, feel myself well. I have already passed the noon of life. That is clear. That’s why I don’t want to give away the pleasure of spending my lifetime with me and for me. I live in the certainty that I am only a shooting star in the firmament of life. With that, the ego moves away a bit in the direction of the Milky Way and says: ‘Don’t take life too seriously.’