Wisdom traditions encourage working from within for positive change. Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido (a martial art intended to eliminate strife), is one of many who understood that fighting- with our surroundings, others, and ourselves- is the root destructive force in life. Instead, effective paths encourage us to first work on harmonizing ourselves through a peaceful practice, working with principles like forgiveness, cooperation, compassion, and flow.
In "The Art of Peace," Ueshiba says,"The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow...Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter..."
Imagine what would happen if the wisest taught, "The Art of Peace begins with forcing others to change." (Hmmm, how has that tendency been working throughout history?)True wisdom paths will never lead us to seek positive change in something or someone outside or smaller than ourselves, by fighting, or by running off to somewhere else.
Instead, the wise find that right here, right now, is the best place to start. With honest contemplation and acceptance, we can come to let go of our own thoughts, emotions, people, and things we've previously hung on to that are no longer helping us. As we patiently, thoughtfully, and courageously draw upon and develop our inner strength in sync with the energy of the universe, we can grow stronger and aligned in heart, mind, body, and spirit. In harmony with ourselves, we can then effortlessly blend with the world, letting our openness and care attract goodness, beauty, real friends, and whatever else we'd like to be surrounded with.
To create peace, instead of asking, "How can I change him?" and "Can't she see she's wrong?" try asking, "Why does this bother me?" and "How can I strengthen and create greater peace within myself?"