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Once upon a time, a king offered a wonderful prize to the artist who could paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried and the king received thousands of paintings.

He studied each one very carefully and finally decided upon two that he really liked. He now had to choose between the two.

The first was a painting of a beautiful, calm lake, with crystal-clear water,surrounded by green, leafy forests and majestic mountains towering in the background.Overhead, the sky was a brilliant blue with scattered, fluffy, white clouds.

All the king’s advisers agreed that this painting clearly showed a place of perfect peace. 🙂

The other painting had mountains too, but these were rugged and bare.Above them,was an angry sky from which heavy rain fell and lightning danced.A foaming waterfall tumbled down one side of the mountain. At first glance, the painting did not seem peaceful at all. 😦

However, when the king looked more closely, he noticed a tiny bush growing behind the waterfall.There,in the small bush, a mother bird had built her nest. In the midst of the rush of angry water, in the wind and the noise and the cold and the damp, the mother bird sat perfectly still on her nest – in perfect peace. The king chose this painting as the one showing peace.

When asked why,he replied:

“Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, discomfort, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the middle of all of these things and yet, to find calm and gentleness in your heart and to carry on with your life – this is the real meaning of peace.”

We are often worried about many things – money, crime, difficulties at home or work, what the future holds, what others may think of us and many more. We can find peace inside us even when everything around us seems to be chaotic.

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