Give Harmony A Chance – Finding Your Peace Within

| March 21, 2016

Today is Harmony Day, which is all about cultural diversity, inclusiveness a sense of belonging for everyone. Sue Ellson says a good start to live harmoniously as a society is to be a little kinder to ourselves and be grateful for what we have.

Each year on Harmony Day I add a post to Open Forum, and I usually talk about how we as individuals treat those around us. How we could seek to understand rather than be understood. How we could see similarities rather than differences. How we could embrace diversity and become more culturally intelligent. But this year, I want to explore something a little different – the peace within you here in Australia.

If we look back 50 or 100 years in Australia, we can see that we have progressed in a huge way. In particular, there has been a significant shift in our acceptance of children born outside of wedlock, of different types of relationships, of people from different backgrounds and we have new meanings for the word ‘family’. Sure, there have been some bumps along the road, but when I think back to what it must have been like for people unable to have a ‘normal’ life in our society in the past, we have a much greater chance now of finding our own peace within.

Harmony Day 2016

When I consider the opportunities for women to participate in careers matching their talent, for men to be hands on fathers, for people with disabilities to be active members of everyday society and for migrants to embrace a new life, I am excited by what the future may hold. When I see advocates raising support for change for the disadvantaged, I am encouraged and inspired and I think about the peace these people will be able to find in the future.

Technology and international trade have given us access to a huge range of affordable ways to access opportunities and products. Economies of scale have enabled more Australians to enjoy cars, holidays, entertainment and luxury goods. Unfortunately, not everyone is truly grateful for these benefits and the instant gratification they generate appears to have fueled a desire for more instant gratification.

These same advancements have created a generation that appears to be glued to a screen – usually on a mobile device. I have seen a drop in real communication, a decline in commitment and loyalty and a huge increase in social isolation across all levels of society.

I also have a sense that whilst we are gaining so many wonderful benefits thanks to the generations that have come before us, we are somehow losing ourselves. We are becoming too comfortable in our own luxury and losing our resilience, courage and determination – all skills that are often acquired in times of hardship.

I am not suggesting that we should make life harder for Australians. But what I am suggesting is that as Australians (residents and citizens), we need to look at what we have and truly appreciate it. We need to follow the principles of equity and access and share these benefits with our neighbours. We need to discuss how good we have really got it and still continue to advocate for those in our community who are less fortunate.

We need to continue to strive for a quality education for every Australian, throughout their lifetime. We need to ensure that everyone has English literacy and digital literacy – so that they can fully participate in our civil society. We need to be vigilant and ensure that our own actions are morally and ethically correct and demand the same of our community, business and government representatives.

We also need to be a little kinder to ourselves and be grateful for the wonderful economic, social, health and community prosperity we have in Australia. There are many citizens around the world who do not have the simple luxuries we so often take for granted. If we want to live harmoniously on a day to day basis, we need to have a sense of harmony and peace within ourselves.

This Harmony Day, I encourage you to share what you are grateful for with whoever you meet – and find out from the other person, what they are grateful for too. You may suddenly realise that we are all so fortunate to be living in one of the greatest countries on Earth. I also hope that today and every day, you can find your peace within.

#grateful #harmonyday


One Comment

  1. Yoshiko Ardoin

    April 25, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I am grateful

    I am grateful that god gave me a family who I can share my happiness, fears and joy. I'm grateful for my life, it's not perfect but I am happy. I guess that is all that matters. 🙂

  2. JeffMeythaler

    February 21, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Finding Inner Peace In God

    Following the path of God gives me the inner peace. I consider everything in my life a gift of God and this gives me the peace.