FEATURE — The phrase “my cup runneth over” is a biblical reference to receiving an abundance of blessings in life. I believe one of the greatest blessings we can experience is peace.
As my physical body grows older and my hair turns a little whiter, my mind seems to ponder more deeply on all that I have learned. Recently, I spent time pondering the following question: How can we obtain true, ongoing peace in our lives?
I would say this has been on my mind due to all of the current commotion in the world. Things are unsettled politically and economically. We hear and read about natural disasters, diseases, failed family relationships and much more.
At no other time in human existence has the world been more advanced in technology, knowledge and resources, and yet we appear to be at a low level with the virtue of peace.
During my reflection on this subject, I determined that the way to spell peace is “KUP.” For me, this acronym is defined as follows:
- K = Kindness.
- U = Understanding.
- P = Patience.
For the past few weeks, my aim has been to consistently apply KUP in my life. Each day, I make a conscious effort to apply these steps in all that I do. When I slip up, I reset and try even harder.
Guess what? It has been working! As I apply kindness, understanding and patience each day, my life is filled with an abundance of peace. Does the strife in the world go away? No, it does not. Does the world around me exude more calmness, tranquility and order? Yes, it does! Thus, I conclude that increased peace comes into the world through my efforts.
“Share your smile with the world. It’s a symbol of friendship and peace.” – Christie Brinkley
Let’s briefly examine why this happens. First, let’s look at kindness. Did you know that performing acts of kindness lowers your blood pressure, relieves depression, boosts self-esteem and reduces social anxiety by physically changing the brain? Kindness slows the aging process by reducing wrinkles and promoting muscle regeneration. It helps create long-lasting relationships, cures stress and makes our lives happier overall.
All this evidence is found in the research of former chemist David Hamilton. In his book “The Five Side Effects of Kindness,” Hamilton shares the scientifically proven health benefits of kindness and how these benefits can transform your life.
Next, let’s consider understanding. In his book “7 Habits of Highly Successful People,” Stephen Covey explains the benefits of habit No. 5: “First seek to understand, then to be understood.” According to Covey, as we apply this principle in our lives, we gain true insight into the lives of others and into the circumstances that surround us. Our actions show others that we care. Thus, we build synergy and cause others to desire to understand us.
“Peace is not absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan
The final piece of the equation is patience. Numerous articles point to the fact that exercising patience in our lives brings about better mental and physical health, allows us to make better decisions, helps us develop compassion and teaches us to appreciate the process of growth.
Each one of us may discover that our path to peace through kindness, understanding and patience is achieved differently. That is okay! The key is to start down the path. So I invite you to step back and ask yourself, “How full is my KUP?”
Written by JACK W. ROLFE, founder and CEO of the School of Life Foundation.
This article was first published in the November/December 2020 issue of St. George Health and Wellness magazine.
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