Unlock peace with these two common beliefs

Our open-mindedness, acceptance, tolerance and appreciation for the differences in our community is the beginning of building peaceful relations and unity. Every person in our community is a part of numerous cultures, with some being more influential in their lives than others. There are cultures created in our homes, work, schools, classrooms, churches, in any group we form or are a part.

It is the mix of all these cultures that influences our views, hopes, humor, loyalties, worries and fears. When we can be open-minded to learning about these influences in those in our community we can also begin to develop compassion for their point of view and find ways to work together. If we want peace in our community and the world, if unity is our goal then rid ourselves of the need to get retribution and step into understanding our neighbors and companions.

One of the first steps in this regard is recognizing the things that we have in common. It is my belief that peace in this world must begin with the family and ourselves. It is in the family that we find the most commonality. All parents want to see their children grow up to be safe, healthy, successful and happy. That is why I have devoted my life in the past 20 years to helping parents bring out the best in our children and ourselves and find the next part of what is common to all humans on the earth.

That second common thing that we share is how we value virtues, gifts of character in each of our cultures. No matter who we are or what culture we come from, there are these virtues that all of us value, though we may see them in different ways. As an example, in one family, community or part of the world the virtue of respect may be practiced in one way and other cultures there may be a different way of expressing respect. The commonality is the virtue of respect.

Here is my invitation. Learn about the Universal acceptance of the 100 virtues we all value. Look for and acknowledge them in others. Grow to understand what we have in common. Teach our children how to balance their virtues so that over developed virtues do not overwhelm those in their families or communities. Find what we value the most and live our life around those virtues.

If you would like to learn more about our commonality in virtues, attend an Introduction to the Virtues Project workshop with me, and you will find yourself leaving the habit many of us have of blaming, shaming and hurting others from not understanding what we all have in common.

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