Colby’s Path to Peace

How and why did Colby become so passionate about building a more peaceful world? Here’s how he sees it…

Colby’s “path to peace” is one that he reflects upon quite often. As a child, he was raised in a family that practiced the Baha’i Faith. He feels that the Baha’i Faith has instilled many important teachings within him that he still values strongly, such as the unity of God, religion, and humankind; the equality of men and women; the elimination of prejudice; the harmony of science and religion; the independent investigation of truth; and the importance of service to humanity.

Unfortunately, he grew up in a world where these principles are not the reality. What he saw and experienced in the community, at school, on TV, and even in his own family, social circle, and inner-self, was often quite different. The presence and “normalcy” of prejudice, selfishness, injustice, and violence has always made him ask the question “why?” He feels that it is this questioning that has led him on his “path to peace.”

One key moment that may have marked the beginning of this path came during Colby’s first “serious relationship.” He remembers that him and his girlfriend used to argue quite frequently, often leaving each other emotionally distressed, which eventually deteriorated the relationship. He used to think to himself, “How can two good-hearted people, who claim to love each other, end up in a ‘war of words’?” Being inquisitive, he sought some council from a mentor of his. Then came the “a-ha” moment…

After some discussion about the troubles he had been having, Colby’s mentor mentioned that he seemed to respond to conflict in an “aggressive” way. She explained that, “there are 3 ways to deal with conflict. You can respond passively (the other person matters, and I don’t matter), you can respond aggressively (I matter, and the other person doesn’t matter), or you can respond assertively (I matter AND the other person matters).” At this moment, Colby realized that he had only been focused on getting his own needs met, at the expense of the other person’s emotions. And what was most alarming to him was that he felt he was doing this almost subconsciously. He remembers thinking to himself, “Why didn’t anyone ever teach me this?!” From that point on, he’s had to constantly remind himself, “The other person matters too. Everyone matters.” He acknowledges that, at times it’s been a struggle, as it’s difficult to correct twenty years of a learned behavior.

Since that moment with his mentor, Colby feels that he has been on a continuous path in learning how to build peace in the world. A shelf full of books about how to make a profit was replaced with one on how to develop spiritual qualities, a career motivated by power and higher salary was traded for year of service helping empower young changemakers in his community. A summer vacation lounging on the beach was exchanged for a volunteer trip to Cameroon. And now Colby, in collaboration with Awu, is utilizing music as a channel to inspire people to help make the world a more peaceful place for all to enjoy. In short, Colby now hopes that in all of his endeavors, he can, in some way, enlighten the hearts and minds of humanity to the fact that EVERYONE matters.

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