Peace Leadership and Spirituality – A Reflection By Dr. Angelika Selle
“The 21st Century will be spiritual or it won’t be.” – Andre Malraux
Having been a peace leader for several decades (peace leader = a visionary, who envisions new possibilities and inspires individuals and people toward peace), I once asked a variety of people: What do you think are the most important characteristics of a peace leader?
To my surprise, most people cited three qualities: moral standards, authenticity and transparency.
Coming from my own experience, I absolutely agree with these findings, as all three areas contain the seed to create trust and be sustainable, which are important keys to peace.
There is another characteristic or component related to those three which I believe is the foundation for peace leaders to grow the above qualities: Connecting to the Creator, the higher inner self or the divine within.
Why? Because we hold ourselves accountable not only to human opinion, but to deeper truths and realities that lie within.
That truth that all human beings are divine in nature and spiritual in essence is the deepest common denominator that connects us. Therefore, to work from that space has the potential to override man-made barriers and divides.
Lasting peace starts from within and from the inside out, and from there can naturally manifest in our ways of thinking, our decision making, in our daily lives, relationships and careers.
Furthermore, as we look at the current state of affairs of dysfunction, violence, divides, etc in our families and societies, a peace leader who embodies the above qualities will be able to see beyond what meets the physical eye. He or she will then be able to identify the often undercurrent invisible issues, emotions and causes of problems and divides, and address them from a higher perspective. Higher perspective here refers to one that is not based on ego or preferring one party over the other, but seeking a win/win solution for both and for the highest common good.
How to access this higher perspective?
The most common and powerful ways to do so are through daily meditation, prayer, reading holy scriptures or other spiritual practices, all of which naturally activate our higher inner self and sharpen our consciousness and perception. During my many years of leading various projects, organizations, ministries and initiatives, besides practical leadership skills, my sincere, humble and passionate prayers -often together with others – allowed me to “see” better, and find solutions where there seemed to be none.