I met Lexie Potamkin on a visit to Aspen earlier this year and she provided me with a copy of her most recent book, What Is Peace? Lexie has a very interesting history. She was a former Miss World USA, and lived and worked in New York where she was connected with many influential people, including Donald Trump. She ran a highly successful marketing firm in New York before she married her husband, and eventually sold it so she could raise her children.
Lexie is a human rights activist, and has been instrumental in helping Tibetan monks, whom she hosts in her home every year. She has met His Holiness, the Dalai Lama on numerous occasions.
He shared with her that the philosophy of his religion is very simple: kindness.
Lessons in Peace
Lexie had her own challenge with peace, as she had accumulated some fairly significant wealth from building up a very successful marketing firm. In December of 2008, she lost virtually all of her personal wealth, and her life circumstances changed dramatically as a result.
As she eloquently states:
“Loss of loved ones, loss of material possessions – these events can be an opportunity for rebirth. We have to ‘die’ and let go of our old selves in order to truly live and find peace.”
Mahatma Gandhi said,
“Power is of two kinds: one obtained by fear of punishment, and the other by acts of love.”
He said power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than power derived from fear of punishment.
Lexie’s father died when she was 19, which served as a major catalyst for her own spiritual journey. From that she studied intensely about death and dying, and she now serves as a death counselor for family and friends as an ordained minister. She is currently completing a masters course in inter-spiritual studies at the Spiritual Paths Institute in Santa Barbara.
What is Peace?
What is Peace is a delightful and inspirational book that will lift your spirit as it’s a compilation of hundreds of people whom she interviewed by asking the simple question: “What is Peace?”
It is a follow-up of her earlier book, What is Spirit? which followed a similar format. That book is illustrated by Peter Max, who is one of her friends.
What is Peace? was written following the death of her mother who taught her many important life lessons. The book is illustrated with original paintings from one of her close friends, a Russian artist, Anatoly Ivanov. The illustrations provide a wonderful compliment to the book.
Here is a sample section from the book:
If our leaders could focus on removing conflict, resolving issues, and training their minds to be ever-decisive in these matters, what might happen to disease, hunger and war?
This prescription for peace begins with our own serenity and desire. From one to another, peace extends even to world leaders.
In the tradition of world government, I found this five-point peace formula researched and released by UNESCO’s Culture of Peace Program, which I hope to see in my – OUR – lifetime:
A governmental code of ethics, with a basis in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
An international system of justice. Without justice there can be no peace. Every nation has a system to get criminals off the street, and into the courtroom. A world system of justice is necessary for crimes against humanity and our environment.
A global sustainable economy providing reasonable employment and also eliminating poverty and hunger. According to Nobel Prize-winner Amartya Sen, public peace action can eradicate malnutrition and hunger.
Universal access to competent educational systems. The education of women is key to both economic and peace developments. Warfare by men has led to the exclusion of women from power. Women’s skills of exchange, cooperation and solidarity, as well as their experience giving birth, bringing up the next generation and managing informal economies, are all essential to the evolution of peace cultures.
A compassionate health and welfare system. This principle is included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
If peace is one of your passions in life than I would strongly encourage you to pick up a copy of What is Peace?
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