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March 18, 2016 12:27 PM EDT

I love this proverb because it directly connects what happens in our hearts to our homes, to our country, to the world. What’s in us is what we put out into our relationships, into our workspaces, into our culture, our communities. If there is rage in us, it affects our families. If there is violence in our hearts and our minds, it will impact others. And so it goes.

At the start of this year I wrote about starting where you are and how that means starting within yourself: What you think, how you speak, how you parent, how you behave at work, it’s all connected.

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Last week my friend Dolores suggested her priest come and bless our home. She said to me, “It would be great for you and your family to start this New Year by having your home blessed by this wonderful priest.” So Father Shinto, who moved to Los Angeles just one year ago from India by way of the Philippines, came to our home. He prayed with us. He spoke about peace. The peace in our hearts and how to create and live in a peaceful home. He spoke about how it’s all connected and how we are all connected.

“Create a peaceful home, a blessed home,” he said, explaining, “Make it a priority. It doesn’t matter how big your home is or how small it is, your home should be a place of peace for you and your family. That way when you go forth from it you go forth from a place of peace out into the world.”

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I loved what he said because it’s so true. We live in rapidly-changing times. We are in the midst of a political election that talks about the importance of peace but meanwhile the language being used by the candidates is anything but peaceful. We are inundated with stories of violence and too many Americans are living in fear. Their homes are dangerous places in dangerous cities. As a nation we can do better but it often feels overwhelming.

What can each of us do now that might help us create a more peaceful environment? We can do what this proverbs call us to do. We can bless our homes. The homes within us. The home we live in and the home that is our community.

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Peace in the world will take global leaders coming together. Peace in our hearts can start today, right now. It’s sounds like a small thing but it has big implications. Let’s bless our hearts and our homes. Let’s challenge what is and imagine what can be. A more peaceful planet for us all.

This article originally appeared on Mariashriver.com

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