When people think of force, they envision things outside of themselves such as: large Governments, foreign policy, and many big issues that mankind faces. What if I told you that violence is being created when you choose to use force to get what you want from your children and the people you love?
The kind of “peace” that is maintained by force is only an illusion of peace. If people only refrain from hurting each other because they are afraid of someone else (police, or an army, or whatever), then this is not “peace”: it is merely little bullies held in check by larger bullies. Real peace only happens when people do not want to hurt each other.
You don’t “make peace” with another person or community by holding a gun to them so that they’re too afraid to hurt you (yet this is what many people think of as “peace”: a so-called peace maintained by force, waiting at any moment to erupt into violence again). To really make peace with another is not to force them to behave “peacefully”, but to join forces with them, to understand and help them, until they count you as a friend and could think of nothing worse than hurting you. Real peace does not need force: it comes from understanding.
(The above quote was taken from Ask.com, in response to a question regarding Albert Einstein’s famous quote: Peace Cannot Be Kept By Force It Can Only Be Achieved By Understanding.)
Most parents use punishment as a way to help teach their children. Using threats of spanking, grounding, and time-outs, to create well behaved children is so ingrained in us that we can not fathom any other way. The idea of not punishing our children comes with images of unruly children running around like characters straight from Lord Of The Flies. We’ve been programmed to believe that the absence of force creates chaos. I’m here to tell you, this is not the case.
A peaceful world exists without violence. Yet, why do people resort to violence to get what they want? Human nature? Absolutely NOT! It’s because violence is instilled in them unintentionally. For generations, parents have used force to teach their children, not realizing that the only lesson being learned is: I must use force to get what I want.
So… How do we break the cycle?
If you’ve used violence, forgive yourself knowing that is not your nature. At one point, violence was used against you. Once you have have embraced peace within yourself through forgiveness, the next step is to commit, by making conscious choices, to creating peace in your home. Talk to your children and tell them about the mistakes you’ve made, tell them about your childhood, and communicate your new commitment to peaceful parenting.
Instead of doing what is comfortable, have the courage to do what is right. You have the power to create peace.