Saturday, September 17, 2005

Peace on Earth Goodwill to Men?

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“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” Anne Frank

Every year as the holiday season approaches, we begin to see the ornaments, ribbons, and signs proclaiming

Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men

Have you ever really thought about that simple phrase? Do the words actually mean anything to you?

I don’t think too many people pay much intention to the meaning of those words. The evidence is all around us.

So let’s take a more in-depth look at what this phrase actually means.

A quick visit to is where we begin.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary

Peace is the absence of war, freedom from disagreement, harmonious relationships, public security and security.

But there’s another part of the definition that is even more important to the subject of this article. That definition of peace is inner contentment and security. Remember this one. We’ll come back to it later.

Goodwill is an attitude of kindness, friendliness, and benevolence.

Goodwill is actually a compound word. Let’s dig deeper into the meaning of this word by looking at it’s parts.

Good means having qualities that are desirable.

Will is self-control, the mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides on a course of action.

Okay, now we know the meanings of the words. First let’s make an adjustment to the original phrase. Instead of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men”, I suggest this rearrangement.

Goodwill to Everyone, Peace on Earth

That makes the whole idea into an active process. More important, it’s just different enough from the original phrase to grab our attention. Our brains are jogged out of the habitual way of reading the message.

And finally, let’s use the definitions we learned earlier to expand this phrase into something even more meaningful. How about this statement of intention…

The desirable quality of deliberately choosing to act in a kind, friendly, benevolent manner towards everyone, as a result of doing that, we will have less war, less disagreement and more harmonious relationships on Earth.

Remember that other definition of peace, inner contentment and security? We can use this meaning as a clue as to where to begin the peace process.

It begins with you. You are the only one you have the power to change. Let peace begin with you though the interactions you have with others. As Emerson said, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles”.

I suggest you make little reminder notes that say, “Goodwill to Everyone, Peace on Earth”. Put them around your home, in the car, and in your work area.

And when you finish this article, send a copy to family and friends.

Read books that inspire, add books from the Transformational Book Circle to your library.

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