The Path to Peace

People wonder when there will be world peace, as if peace between nations is something that they can only wonder about, and not choose.  Others see the path through peaceful protest, political organization, or violent demonstration.  Maybe we won’t have world peace until each of us experiences personal peace.  And maybe we won’t experience personal peace until we regard the person passing us in the supermarket aisle as close as we see our best friend; until strangers on a rush hour train chat like they’re at a picnic; until we’re not afraid to ask someone we’ve never met for ten dollars to tide us over until we cash our paychecks.  Maybe we won’t know personal peace until each of us makes peace with those with whom we’ve been most intimate, and until we make peace with ourselves.

You may not see the connection between world peace and peace in your personal relationships.  You may not yet grasp the intimate connection between freedom from feeling fear from strangers on the street and freedom from fear of other nations.  But how will we ever manage to create harmony with strangers in a city on the opposite side of the world unless we first establish it with strangers in our own cities, with those we love, or with those we hate?  How can we offer olive branches to aliens of other nations if we don’t first offer it to the aliens on our streets, or the stranger across the kitchen table?

Freedom from fear of others is a precondition to peaceful relations with them, for we attack only who and what we fear.  Unless I can drop that fear of the strangers in my midst, I can’t relinquish my fear of strangers from other nations.  Nations are made up of people, and the relations between nations in some ways reflect the relationships between individuals.  Until we grasp that connection, until each of us realizes that peace is a risk just the same way that saying ‘hello’ or offering help to a stranded motorist is a risk, until the majority of us is willing to take the chance of offering a smile to the person on the other side of the bed, then no, there can be no world peace.

But take heart.  Every time you settle an argument instead of settling a score, each time you offer a buck instead of criticism, and every time you let the driver in front of you into your lane without honking, you’ve contributed to world peace.  You may not have a seat on the U.N. Security Council, but that doesn’t mean you lack influence.  Each of us is a diplomat, a Secretary of our own State.  And that state is the state of our own minds.  The world does in some ways depend on you.  It depends on you to choose peace of mind.  When you make that choice, you create a peaceful world.

© 2023 by Michael C. Just

Mike’s novel, The Dirt: The Journey of a Mystic Cowboy, is available in softcover or eBook formats through Amazon.

You can purchase the book through this website. Or go straight to amazon at

Mike’s other titles, including The Crippy, The Mind Altar, and Canyon Calls, are available through this website or through Amazon at

Four of his short stories have recently been published online:

Lies, Ltd. has been published by The Mystery Tribune @ Lies, Ltd.: Literary Short Fiction by Michael C. Just (

The Obligate Carnivore has been published by the Scarlet Leaf Review @ Category: MICHAEL JUST – SCARLET LEAF REVIEW

I See You, Too has been published by the 96th of October @ I See You, Too – 96th of October

Offload, a short story about a man who can heal any disease, is now live and can be read at The Worlds Within at Offload – The Worlds Within