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Empower Peace: My Grounding Purpose

My Grounding Purpose is to empower peace on Earth.

That's the short version. I've said there's a longer version. It begins with me clarifying that the way I repeat my purpose to myself is actually with these words: to empower shalom on Earth.

"Shalom" is the Hebrew word for peace, but it means much more than the end of hostilities between warring peoples. After all, the hostilities can cease but there might still be no real peace. We are all too aware of this after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Shalom is a holistic peace, referring to wellbeing of body, mind, and spirit. The word encompasses nuances of harmony, wholeness, completeness, and tranquility, as well as the prosperity which comes when everyone has what they need to live.

Shalom and its Arabic counterpart, salaam, are used as both "hello" and "goodbye" greetings in many parts of the world. I learned to say salaam aleikum to my Muslim neighbors and colleagues during my time in Bangladesh. My first time saying the phrase was awkward, but it became more and more significant to me. I was in Bangladesh as a Peace Corps Volunteer, after all! How appropriate to be greeting the people around me with "Peace be with you."

My favorite vision of this kind of peace comes from the Bible. In Isaiah 11:1-9, the prophet offers a poetic description of what's often been called "The Peaceable Kingdom." My favorite verses are those which captured my imagination as a child, when I heard them at church:

"The wolf shall live with the lamb,

the leopard shall lie down with the kid,

the calf and the lion and the fatling together,

and a little child shall lead them."

I love this imagery because it joins together what Western-influenced thinkers have so often separated after the Enlightenment: the human and the natural world. The wolf or leopard, the lamb or calf, are reconciled somehow from their predator and prey relationship to new harmony. And the "little child," the vulnerable human being, becomes a wise leader to empower and facilitate this harmonious peace.

The little child, for Isaiah, was the leader who would return the Jews in exile to their homeland. Christians have seen in these prophetic words the leadership of Jesus. But I believe that human beings were made to be in this kind of relationship with the rest of Earth's creatures, using Spirit-given wisdom to facilitate a reality of harmony between all beings on the planet.

I've been drawn toward this purpose from my birth, but it's taken me a long time and a lot of spiritual support to hear, accept, and have courage to commit to embodying this purpose in everything I do.

Now that my purpose is clear to me, I can return to it again and again throughout the day to reorient my energy and action. It is a source of resilience and direction for me, day after day.

What is your Grounding Purpose?

I'd love to hear your answer--the short version or the long version! You can respond with a comment If you'd like help clarifying your purpose, you can also get on my calendar for a FREE 15 minute Clarity Call by clicking

Peace be with you!


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