During this time of year we read and hear various appeals for peace on earth. It has become quite traditional to wish for such a state of unified bliss and tranquility. And yet while such wishes are given with much hope and fervor there is an unfortunate underlying reality known by all that no such miracle will ever exist.

Granted, this beautiful dream is a definite craving among the citizens of all nations, but that craving is continually dashed by the many different misguided aspirations and selfish objectives of world leaders. And thus we languish for peace each year only to face the facts of life: there will never be peace on earth.

And yet I believe there can be a unique kind of peace on earth that can exist in today’s seemingly toxic and vitriolic environment. This amazing peace is present within each individual and it comes from both the desire in our hearts and the actions we take.

Peace is not a substance or commodity or bargaining tool. But rather it is a condition that establishes the worth of ourselves and provides us with an inner stillness that can be transformed into a contagious spreading of this tranquility to all with whom we come in contact. Peace is that which controls the very essence for interaction with others and how that interaction is to be established.

One of the main ingredients for this peace is the act of forgiveness. This virtue is perhaps the hardest for humans to practice simply because it demands a type of surrender that requires an individual to swallow their pride and steadfastness. When genuine forgiveness is offered there is an immediate halo of peace that engulfs both of the individuals and a new beginning is created. Under these conditions, peace has been established and good faith and harmony restored.

We can generate peace through our forms of communication. Words mean much. The kind of words we choose to utter can be the difference between a peaceful environment and a difficult, awkward and even harsh mood. Words of thanks, words of genuine empathy, words of understanding, words of comfort, and words of help all contribute to this unique form of peace. What we say and how we say it will bring about a more congenial relationship. We must speak with a peaceful tongue.

There is a third important component to establishing peace. It is love. Love comes in many forms, the least of which is kindness and a sharing. Without love there is no clear delineation between that which we cherish and that which we choose to discard. When we show love and compassion, understanding and gentleness to others we install that spark of compatibility that generates a feeling of satisfaction and calm for both parties. There is no peace without genuine love.

Peace on earth is not restricted to the last month of the year nor is it an empty phrase with no hope for actuality. Our involvement with peace is a year-round endeavor that requires us to see ourselves in others and realize that what we desire out of life is also their desire; that our search for calm and harmony is also their search for the same.

To create peace we must feel the deep inner urge to become actual instruments of peace. Perhaps in our own little worlds we can take charge and despite all else ensure there will be this special kind of peace on earth. Perhaps, just perhaps, we can show to the world by our actions that in our own fashion peace is truly attainable.

Robert Nordmeyer is a freelance writer.