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As I open my eyes to the gentle rays streaming into my room, I am excited. The solitude and quiet of the early morning hours allows me to appreciate that I am alive, I have a new day with immense joy and opportunity ahead of me. A wave of peace rushes over me followed by a thought, How could I extrapolate that peaceful feeling to those around me? To my family, my neighbours, my community, my country and my planet. It is not that difficult to do things a little differently. 

Come to think of it, human beings have been able to avoid extinction because we can change. Change is the only constant. Adaptability is what we have in abundance. A sense of hope fills me as I envision a peaceful world, one that is accepting. A world where judgement is left in courtrooms where opinions are not impulsive and latitude for expression is gracefully given. A world which is inclusive, where differences are viewed with wonder and curiosity rather than suspicion and fear. The first step would be to cut out the noise, the verbosity, to communicate with empathy and not ego. To communicate simply without jargon and ambiguity. To communicate, to create not to destroy. 

The duality of our present is a bit perplexing. We have a million words for social media but very few for our friends. It is easier for us to make excuses rather than ask for help. We spend time on the construction of our sentences rather than thinking about the consequences they will have. In a world of emojis and short messages, we have clearly lost sight of the longer story. The story in which words build relationships, seek help, find solutions and create community. Our words should elicit cooperation, we should be thoughtful and kind and our actions that follow should truly match our words and their intention. Our actions should be our words in motion.

There are many ways in which we can express our emotions, through art, and through music. Both have scientifically been proven to heal, energise and rejuvenate. Music and art are beyond boundaries; they have a unique quality to bring people together, biologically also increase the brain’s plasticity and access many of the advanced processes of the brain increasing intuitive analysis, expressibility and learning. Different frequencies of sound and music have been proven to create positive shifts so powerful that we can reverse negative energy, reduce stress and create tolerance. They have the power to raise consciousness as seen in many ancient sacred music traditions such as the Gregorian and Buddhist chants and the Hindu shlokas. So just adding some music to life will help us grow emotionally, socially and intellectually appreciating and celebrating the unknown instead of being judgemental and closed. Similarly, art has become an important part of the therapeutic field in both assessment and treatment techniques. According to a study in 2016, less than an hour of creative activity can reduce cortisol levels and stress and have a positive effect on mental health regardless of artistic experience and talent. Art has been proven to help reduce feelings of isolation to increase self-esteem and self-awareness. 

Loneliness is perhaps the biggest threat to the social fabric and peace of present times. The pandemic and in some ways the internet have come in the way of physical social interaction. Increasingly people find it hard to express themselves effectively in the social context. Art helps in self-expression and in turn, reviving our means to communicate. Making art and music accessible to all is the goal. This may be done by having recreation centres or social interaction centres in our communities. By encouraging exhibitions and concerts that allow people to celebrate their differences and express themselves without fear of judgement. This is the peaceful and colourful world I long for…

Today is a new day, a fresh start. There is magic in new beginnings. I now step out of my bed ready to embrace a new world full of discovery, hope and invention which is so within my reach that I cannot just wait to get started.

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