Is Peace Realistic?

Whenever I mention that our reason for making our film was to help bring peace, I always detect a slight shock, or pause, in the atmosphere. Peace is such a universal "want," but so elusive in human experience, that we have become a bit afraid of even speaking about it.

I confess I've searched for peace--and worked for peace--and investigated how peace gets made--for most of my life. One thing I've discovered is that peace rarely starts big. It's not usually found in large scale operations, or big observable events. Oftentimes, peace starts with tiny, invisible, "people-moments." In my own experience, songs, dance, music, natural beauty...can touch something very deep inside the human heart. Even the most rigidly-held person can be touched and moved profoundly by a beautiful piece of art. I've been convinced that if we are ever to break the cycle of pain, fear, anger, hate and vengeance...we must harness the power of art.

There is a moment in the ninth symphony Beethoven penned, in which the music pauses, and a slow and majestic theme builds. The words being sung are "Seid umschlungen, Millionen! Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!" which translates as "Be embraced, you millions: this kiss is for the whole world!" Regardless of our origins, in hearing this, we can feel this is a sacred moment, a loving message from the divine to our hearts.

When we feel

embraced, held, beloved--it melts the rigid walls and defenses. It soothes the painful scars. It nourishes the hope residing deep inside.

This, I believe, is the starting point of peace. Peace begins deep inside each heart, with the experience of a total embracing love from a universal source. Once we have tasted that love, something inside our hearts is released.

Our hope, in making Dancing Joy, has been to provide every viewer with a tangible experience of that overwhelming love, carried through Beethoven's music, the dancers' movement, and Nature's beauty. We envision millions of people, lifted to the highest realization of their own value, and bathed in the sense of togetherness with all other people. Peace is more than possible--it's basic.

(The life-changing film, Dancing Joy, can be streamed or ordered on DVD and Blu-ray. www.dancingjoymovie.com)

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