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40k for 40 Days

January 20:
Day 4

40k for 40 days

January 20: Day 4

Day 4 - PeaceAble & ResponsAble

If being responsible means being able to respond to the situations we find ourselves in, then, from what I have recently learned from a 5-year-old girl called Quinn, (while sharing her views on how to make the world a kinder place through the Golden Rule), that Peaceable means, being Able 'to be nicer and more respectable & share a lot a lot more compassion for ourselves and others'. I probably should have listened to Quinn a long time ago but it's not too late!

2 decades on now, from being labeled and being OK with the label of Peace Activist. I do recognize that I have been fairly active, sometimes more than others, sometimes at home and often away from home. But was this activism only external and outward? I now believe so.

How did challenging conflict and violent injustices affect me inside, and how do I look at peace activism and peace activists today? Many years of trying but maybe often failing if I am looking at all the angles. Failing not being a negative judgment but more of an opportunity for growth and learning for the next 2 decades ahead.
Being more active with my internal peace, pace, space, and reflection, to be more effective, more empathic, more compassionate, and useful to myself and others around me.

From passionately observing and studying ancient wisdom through indigenous communities in various parts of the world, including my own, in addition to looking at contemplative science and research in areas of empathy and compassion, I've come to really question whether I was and sometimes, whether we were 'PeaceAble' if we were sharing real empathic concern for those with whom we lived with, campaigned with and fought for peace and justice with, in various parts of the world.

I am not doubting my motivations and desires to make a difference, challenge oppression, offer solidarity, and somehow reduce the suffering that I was, and still am, witness to. BUT at times, I and many amazing friends, colleagues, and fellow 'peace activists' were most definitely phasing into empathic distress and overwhelm and so, not fully able to offer what I now consider to be true or real empathy and compassion. Being in empathic distress affects our abilities greatly, to contribute to communities in conflict or living through injustice. The inside neglect, somehow shadowed the outward desire for genuine peace.

Time, energy, opportunities, hardships, wasted?

I think not. Incredible lessons learned, friendships, partnerships, immense gratitude gained, and a solid degree attained from the university of life that I can now hopefully put into efficient and effective practice. Just must keep moving, creating spaces for active reflection and proper breathing, while observing and intently listening to others, to myself, and the external environments and nature around me. Who said Peace was easy though?!

Bring on Day 5, of inside and outside peace exploration.....


Shane O'Connor​



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