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Where Does Peace Come From? And Where Does It Go?

WM Spiti Winter

Any road in any land holds a promise of travel; such as this road to Losar in Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India; Photo: Sanjay Mukherjee

So where does Peace come from; and where does it go?

Humans seem to search for it, which probably means we lose it every so often. The rest of the animal world doesn’t seem too bothered about it.

Travelling through Spiti, over snow-covered land, ice and ice-covered waters,  accompanied by bitter cold winds, is a different experience. And the first question that I remember asking myself was :”How is this any different from travelling in Pune or Mumbai or Hong Kong or Berlin? Over asphalt-covered land, in hot or cold conditions?” Only the landscape, conditions, and density of people is different. I am the same. My thoughts and approach are the same. So why do people make a fuss about travel and about how it changes them?

Of late, I seem to be meeting a lot of people who always talk about travelling and seeing all the fantastic places in the world and doing adventurous things and doing many different experiences … their whole year seems to be spent waiting for and working towards those 4-8 weeks of travel … and I feel sad. That seems such a waste of the whole year. In the last two months alone, I have met more than three dozen people who travel a lot but they never seem to find what they are looking for. A few of them said that it is only travel that keeps them going, only travel that changes their lives.

Well, it doesn’t. Only you can change your life. The act of traveling doesn’t change you. Because if it did, you would be a different person even when you went back home after the travel. Maybe the problem is that in an increasingly connected world, people are increasingly more isolated from their own selves. And as a result, while they have all the information and simulated experiences at the finger-tips, may be they are all in places where they don’t want to be. And so, they are always wanting to be somewhere else. And if that is the case, I wonder if they realise that they are going to be miserable all their lives unless they figure out what it is that they want to do with their lives when they are not travelling.

I guess Peace is inside you, and Peace lies in being completely immersed in the moment. If you are chasing it, then all roads will be any road and none of them will take you where you want to be.

It is a decision to love your life wherever you are and to change it as soon as you realise you are some place you don’t want to be. Then, you take the sunshine and the rain and cold and the warmth with you wherever you go instead of travelling the world to find it. And when you love yourself in all seasons, in all moods, in all places, then you find Peace every place you travel to because Peace goes with you.

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