Mother Teresa gave an important message about being pro-peace instead of anti-war, and it has stuck with me for a long time. It taught me the importance of perspective, unconditional love, and making pro decisions rather than against.
I was a little taken aback when I first heard this. I took a few moments to pause and think about it. Then it clicked – the true power behind this simple message. Take a look at the quote below and spend a few moments to contemplate it for yourself.
"I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me." - Mother Teresa
This message shows just how powerful a change in perspective can be. Now, Mother Teresa is talking about war, but this can be applied to anything in your life. Why focus on the negative aspect and expect change when you can bring change about through positivity?
You may be thinking these two options are just the same thing – anti-war and pro-peace, but when we look closely they are not. They are two very different ways to approach resolving conflicts or problems.
When we come across conflict within our lives we can choose to go about change by being against it or for something that counter-acts it. Now, both options have their place and both options can work. We often use this method of making decisions without realizing it.
I began to assess the things around me, and I noticed a mixture of both anti and pro groups everywhere! Anti-drugs, Anti-war, Anti-bullying, Pro-Health, Pro-Veganism, and many more.
The difference in these approaches got me thinking. We must know about both options, and consciously think about which approach we are deciding to take.
Choosing the pro method or the against method?
After contemplating Mother Teresa’s quote about pro-peace instead of anti-war, I decided to try and approach things using the pro method rather than against, and here is why:
- Anti appears to be filled with going against, which brings about resistance. Now, this is not the type of energy I want to be living in. Going through resistance to go about change just seems counter-intuitive. Anti is usually trying to force change on people instead of giving them the choice to change.
- Being anti or against is often filled with what not to do. It is focused on clear rules to bring about change, rules that are still focused and built upon negativity, with little room for the individual to decide what to do for themselves. Whereas the pro method is not built upon this negativity, it is not forcing people to be a certain way. Instead, it gives people the choice to do the loving thing and bring about both change and healing.
- Whilst anti options seem to create sudden energy and quick change; the pro option often seems to last longer and gradually bring about long-lasting changes. This may partially be due to people voluntarily choosing this option.
- The anti-method appears to show the same sort of themes, anger, fear, negativity, and resistance. These energies often show people aggressively shouting about the cruelty they see in the world. Whereas being pro-something feels much more positive, happy, and a lot less angry, with people educating and creating alternative outcomes.
- In my opinion being against something does not appear to create as many options. Being anti appears to be using the same information as the thing it is against. The energy of these groups, movement, and decisions seem to be focused on the same thing they are opposing. Whereas being pro-something appears to have the end goals in mind. These decisions appear to have opposing options that you are educating yourself and others about; it is these options are the main focus. For example, anti-war is against war, but the focus is still on war itself. Whereas pro-peace is still against war, but the focus is now on the end goal – peace.
How can we use this information!
Instead of actively working against something, pro means you are actively working towards something. Due to free will, we all have the options to make our own decisions. Being against is often forceful and aggressive, whereas, being pro-something usually means educating and giving people a choice to voluntarily be a part of that group or movement.
So let’s apply this into some everyday examples. A very basic personal example for me is eating junk food and dieting. Both trying to eat healthy myself and help those around me. When I was anti-junk food, I was not filled with hope. This approach created resistance in the past, caused arguments, and often left me upset. I would be upset and angry that the individuals around me could not see the damage eating junk food was causing to their body – no matter how much I told them. However, being pro-health was a much more positive experience. Instead of using fear to shame junk food, it was much easier to use positivity and education to teach people about healthier alternatives. Now this example is very simple but you can see how this decision making process can link to all kinds of things.
Next time you need to make a decision, decide to be part of a movement, or bring about change yourself – think. Do you want to use the anti (against) or pro (for) method.
I’d love to hear your feedback! Are you Pro-Peace Not Anti-War? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Can you think of any example where these 2 methods have been used in the past – what has worked and what hasn’t worked?