The Picture of Peace


There once was a king who offered a prize
to the artist who would paint the best
picture of peace. Many artists tried. The
king looked at all the pictures. But there
were only two he really liked, and he had
to choose between them.
One picture was of a calm lake. The lake
was a perfect mirror for peaceful towering
mountains all around it. Overhead was a
blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who
saw this picture thought that it was a
perfect picture of peace.
The other picture had mountains, too. But
these were rugged and bare. Above was an
angry sky, from which rain fell and in which
lightning played. Down the side of the
mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This
did not look peaceful at all.
But when the king looked closely, he saw
behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in
a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother
bird had built her nest. There, in the midst
of the rush of angry water, sat the mother
bird on her nest – in perfect peace.
Which picture do you think won the prize?
The king chose the second picture. Do you
know why?
“Because,” explained the king, “peace does
not mean to be in a place where there is
no noise, trouble, or hard work. Peace
means to be in the midst of all those
things and still be calm in your heart. That
is the real meaning of peace.”

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