World Peace

By Greg Baer M.D.

May 20, 2011

One day I was involved in a discussion about what people wanted most, and a friend said, "I want world peace."

Only because I knew this person well, I said, "And how would that happen? A generous sprinkling of peace dust?"

Smiling, he asked, "What do you mean?"

"I've heard many people hope and pray for world peace, but there's no way that will happen on a global level."

"I still don't get it."

On a recent visit to an art gallery, I stood close to one of the paintings and was amazed at how all those thousands of individual brush strokes combined to create a composition of such beauty. The overall effect was a natural product of all the strokes applied to it, one at a time. It also occurred to me that once they've been applied, no amount of wishing or praying will make a painting other than the sum of the single strokes.

Just as a painting is a sum of all the strokes applied to the canvas, so the world is nothing more than sum of the strokes that we apply to it with the sum of our lives. The contention or peace in the world, then, is a sum of the contention or peace in our individual lives.

Continuing the conversation with my friend, I asked, "How's your relationship with your wife?"

"In what way?"

"Do you get impatient or irritated with her?"

"Well," he said with a long sigh—which invariably means yes—"I suppose so. We don't yell or scream, but most of the time you can feel the frustration between us."

"That's true of most relationships I know. And the condition of the world—the anger and contention, even the wars—is a natural product of all the contention in our individual relationships. Do you really want world peace?"


"Then it begins with you. It begins with how you treat your wife."

"What about her? She gets just as angry as I do."

"I don't doubt that, but you can't control her. You can begin the process of loving—which is the only power that leads to peace—only with you."

Not only is the condition of the world determined by the individual strokes of our lives, so our lives are a result of the individual choices we make. Every decision we make leaves us more alone or more loved, angrier or happier, weaker or stronger. In our infancy, other people may have applied these strokes to the canvas of our lives, but with time we increasingly take the brush into our own hands. And from all these choices, we create a unique canvas that includes our personality, style, needs, fears, and behaviors.

We can't know the ultimate effects of each decision, but we can know with certainty that as we choose the truth and love, we will add to our own peace and happiness, and in turn that will affect the peace of our relationships and the world immediately around us.

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About the author 

Greg Baer, M.D.

I am the founder of The Real Love® Company, Inc, a non-profit organization. Following the sale of my successful ophthalmology practice I have dedicated the past 25 years to teaching people a remarkable process that replaces all of life's "crazy" with peace, confidence and meaning in various aspects of their personal lives, including parenting, marriages, the workplace and more.

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