I was first introduced to the power of positivity through an influential individual and author, Nazek Abou Alwan Abed. She explained to me the significance of instilling peace within our spirit. Abed lent me one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
From that point, I’ve reached the conclusion that happiness comes from within. Once you think positively about the people and the world around you, and believe in yourself and in the goodness of the community, you’ll find inner peace and hence happiness.
I was highly influenced by this theory. Since then, I always read books by intellectuals who believed in this idea, for instance Gibran Khalil Gibran and Deepak Chopra. Both Gibran and Chopra argued that what happens in your life is a reflection of your thoughts and attitudes. And both contended that the power of positivity—specifically gratitude—is a leading force for your happiness; “you open the door through gratitude,” affirmed Chopra.
I learned of the significance of my inner thoughts and managed to always hold my spirits high. And I can positively assure anyone that this has improved my life tremendously and made it better in every single way; as Byrne asserts in “The Secret,” “if you are feeling good, it is because you are thinking good thoughts.”
This is not a myth, but it is the reality of life. What you grow, you seek. If you send positive vibes to the world, positive vibes will return back to you. Theoretically this sounds simple, yet to apply that, in a region like the Middle East specifically, the mission becomes increasingly difficult.
In the Certified Training Program during my internship at the World Youth Alliance – Middle East, we discussed a text by Charles Malik: “The Man in the Struggle for Peace”. In his writings, Malik explained the continuous and eternal struggle for peace. He might have not meant it the way I understood it, but what I perceived of it was that, as human beings, we struggle to achieve this inner peace and win over our venomous self. Each one of us has two forces within him: the evil and the pure. The struggle for peace is the process whereby we cultivate the pure and tame the evil forces thus empowering purity over cruelty.
I think this is one of the purposes of international non-governmental organizations like WYA. Through the Certified Training Program we learned that only when we ourselves achieve inner peace, will we be able to reflect peace to the outside world through our mutual relations with the others around us. It is a long, time-consuming process but it’s really worth it. After all, peace is the norm while war is the odd. And once we realize that our own shared enemy is war, we can then act together to eradicate it and destroy our inner vicious rival.
This is the message we want to send to the youth around the world: Ally together to serve peace; to serve humanity, eradicate egoism; live not only for yourself but for the well-being of the others; and, most importantly, be grateful for all you have, so the universe will reward you with abundance. Remember one chief rule: “Life doesn’t just happen to you; you receive everything in your life based on what you’ve given.” (Rhonda Byrne, The Secret)
Written by Hala Nasreddine, a current intern at the WYA Middle East office in Lebanon.