The search for peace
Updated: Mar 2
"True peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of justice."-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
At some point in our lives, we all have this unsettling internal feeling. The feeling can be triggered or it comes and goes with our thoughts. Some call it anxiety, stress, worry, etc. The uneasy feeling we have can be short-term or can last for long periods of time. Some have accepted it, others have coped with it in both healthy and unhealthy ways. Most of us are aware of this built up uneasy feeling within us which can cause us to neglect the balance in which we all seek. I call this balance peace.
“We have one of two options with internal discomfort. We either do the things we love to help, or we cope with the internal discomfort in unhealthy ways." -Schwartzen Precil
One of the members at the Boys and Girls Club asked "Mr. Schwartz, how do you stay away from your phone during the day? My mom took my phone away and I nearly died!"
The member 10-years-old, displayed extreme internal discomfort. Let that sink in.
Kids now a days have never lived in a world outside of their social media or smart phone. To many people, the phone is used like an external organ that functions more than their conscious mind. Is it that hard to believe people were living without the need for virtual connection for all of human history (Outside of the last 20-25 years). Will the young minds of the future still have proper executive functioning skills with the over stimulation of artificial intelligence?
Experience is my education
My response to the ten year old was a short story. "As you cannot imagine your world without the luxury of having your phone, I could not imagine where I would be without the game of basketball." I painted the image of young ten-year-old Mr. Schwartz being on a playground, more specifically, between the four lines of a basketball court. They could not imagine their world without their smart phone as I could not imagine my world without the game of basketball. Growing up as a foster child, it was more than my outlet and coping, basketball was my peace. (#BeYourOwnHero #Transformation #Peace)
I will never discredit the effects of mental illness as I too have my own battles with it. I will note the decision to discontinue my basketball playing career to operate in my creative gifts as a writer, speaker, and author was very drastic. It broke my heart but gave peace to my soul. The same way that ten year old felt like "they were going to die" without their outlet, is the same way I felt before I finally put the basketball down. It can be compared to leaving the relationship with my significant other. That sacrifice gave way to reconnecting with family I did not yet meet or have not spoken to in years. Letting go of the outlet made way for something with more impact.
Having the time to myself at 4am most mornings is when I feel the most peace. I do not look at my phone, do not think about the day, I simply pray. I pray, then I pick up a book to read a short or feed my mind with the word of God. Everyone has their own way of dealing with troubles, school work, family issues, relationships and drama.
My way works for me as I know Jesus calms my mind when I feel unsettled on the inside. I may not have fully mastered the art of peace, but I know if I continue to do what I love things will come together.