top of page

Lenten Meditation for Today: Promoting Peace

Many people are concerned about the increasing levels of conflict and violence in society today. One way to manage the distress and helplessness associated with violence and conflict is to take some action, however small.

10 ways you can promote peace:

1) Develop your understanding of the frames of mind that promote conflict and violence against another group.

  • The perception that another group threatens our well-being.

  • The perception that another group threatens our well-being.

  • The belief that our own group is superior to another group.

2) Develop your understanding of the strong emotions that underpin conflict and violence.

  • Anger about a provoking event and fear of future events can support an aggressive orientation towards others.

  • If anger and fear develop into hatred, others are likely to be perceived as evil; thereby, supporting harmful intentions towards them.

3) Pay attention to the ways that language and channels of communication are used to support conflict and violence.

  • The lives of others may be devalued by public rhetoric and media reports that reduce moral concern for them.

  • Beware that public beliefs may be shaped to condone violence against another group and cast aggression in a morally positive frame.

4) Recognize that social inequalities are unjust and fuel misery, conflict and violence.

  • Attune yourself to the social conditions that undermine individual and collective well-being such as poverty and discrimination.

  • Advocate for equalities in human rights, health care, opportunities, safety and security.

5) Dig beneath the surface level, negative stereotypes of another group to achieve a deeper understanding of their identity and concerns.

  • Find ways for dialogue and collaborative interaction with people who have diverse backgrounds, different perspectives, and dissimilar values.

6) Maintain a critical perspective toward the beliefs and actions of your own group.

  • Be willing to question authority, express dissent and offer constructive alternatives when your own group’s actions cause harm or compromise social justice and peaceful relations.

7) Recognize and appreciate experiences of shared humanity across diverse groups.

  • Extend your perspective and empathy by focusing on the common joys and sufferings of all humans.

8) Join groups that have a peace or social justice mission in order to reap the benefits of mutual support and collective action.

  • Donate time and money to such causes.

9) Strive for humane understandings and harmonious relations in your own daily life.

  • Learn about and use constructive ways to manage differences and resolve conflict

  • Practice forgiveness and acts of kindness.

10) Find ways to nourish your hope, commitment, and energy for peace.

  • Access information about successful peace initiatives.

  • Find role models to inspire you and like-minded others for support.

This information was developed with the APS Psychologists for Peace interest group

~Submitted by Ellen


bottom of page