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Book Review—The Anatomy of Peace—An Antidote to War

While this book is relatively short (224 pages) and easy to read, the ideas are not simple and require thought and ongoing self-examination. The goal is to develop a peaceful heart, and thereby change your world for the better.

There’s nothing new here: the Golden Rule still applies. The same ideas are found in “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) and “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. But they are presented in a fresh and quite doable way.

Most people do not have a peaceful heart, which inevitably results in conflict. The authors refer to this as “a heart-of-conflict.” Such people—and that’s most of us—think of themselves first. No matter how well meaning, people with a heart-of-conflict fool themselves.

For example: “. . . most who are trying to put an end to injustice only think of the injustices they believe they themselves have suffered. Which means that they are concerned not really with injustice but with themselves. They hide their focus on themselves behind the righteousness of their outward cause.”

The author’s central message: real change comes from within. In order to change the world, we must first change ourselves. This means adopting a heart-of-peace, which the authors’ show us how to do. It requires reflection, perhaps a lifetime of reflection. But what better way to spend your time on earth than to rid yourself of selfishness and hate by nurturing a peaceful heart? It’s the antidote to war. The book’s message is timeless, and necessary if our world is ever to live in peace.

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