“Peace at any price.” Theodore Roosevelt. Do you value peace? What does peace mean to you? That is the question. Do you think of peace as silence? Do you think of peace as happiness? Do you think of peace as being without conflict? Only you can decide what peace looks like for you. What peace looks like for you and your partner can only be decided by the two of you.
Peace is one of my values. It is important that I have time to be in communion with something bigger than myself so that I can remain centered and focused on what really matters. Conflict happens. Peace is where I find relief from conflict. What about you? Here is a great story that was told to me long ago.
Henry Ford built a beautiful mansion in Dearborn Michigan. Inside the mansion there is so much beautiful wood. Wood on the walls and stairways. It is an amazing testament to the natural beauty of the outdoors brought into the home. Henry cherished this home and found peace being surrounded by all of this hand-carved wood. What he didn’t know was that his wife found this wood to be stifling and dark. She never liked how dark the house was and spent much of her time outside when possible. She found it quite depressing. They never really talked about how she felt about this. Even the music room (located at the back of the house and opens to a very large veranda with a beautiful view of the amazing gardens) was a dark wood planking.
One day Henry left for a consultation as he did quite often. After a few weeks he returned home. His wife ran up to Henry and proclaimed that she had a wonderful surprise for him waiting in the music room. Very tired, he reluctantly walked with his wife to the music room. She threw open the doors. Henry walked in and was in shock. His wife said, “Isn’t it just beautiful?” What Henry saw was that his wife had hired painters to paint the mahogany walls of the music room a bright lemon yellow. She did not value the wood or the dark. She wanted the bright light in at least one room of the house. Henry was quiet and said with a sigh, “Peace at any price.”
Henry Ford was known to value peace in his life and wanted this peace in his home as much as possible. What are you willing to accept in order for you to find peace? What battles are you willing to give up so that there is peace and happiness in your relationship? Think about this!
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