In 6th Century BC Anatolia, the Lydians and the Medes had been at war for more than five years. The war had been sparked by the desire for revenge after the son of Median king Cyaxares was killed by nomadic hunters who had been given protection by the Lydians. It had grown into an intractable cycle of violence as a series of battles proved indecisive.
During the Battle of Halys, writes the historian Herodotus, ‘day was suddenly changed into night… The Medes and Lydians, when they observed the change, ceased fighting, and were alike anxious to have terms of peace agreed on.’ A solar eclipse had caused the fighters to pause, recognise their shared humanity, and begin negotiations for peace.
An eclipse represents a rebalancing of forces. People around the world have long seen them as a sign; a time to stop, wonder, or pray. They provide an opportunity to pause, breath, reflect, and see the bigger picture. It is easy to think that the world revolves around ourselves and to act selfishly or without compassion. These moments of alignment, balance and beauty can provide some much-needed perspective, and remind us of the bigger picture of which we are all a part.
And it is this rebalancing that inspires Business Plan for Peace and our new look.
We believe that the future belongs to those who can see it. This means utilising every aspect of ourselves: unlocking right-brain as well as left-brain intelligence; following the heart as well as the head; focusing on inner work as well as outer action; developing the ‘soft skills’ of conflict transformation as well as supporting the infrastructures needed for them to flourish. We support leaders to take a pause and think clearly and honestly about how they can contribute to sustainable peace.
It is our mission to take peacebuilding beyond the traditional arenas of the UN, NGOs and community leaders, bringing on board businesses, investors, educators and military institutions too. We work with communities, decision-makers and business leaders to develop the competence, confidence and commitment to transform conflict and invest in peace.
Through the foundational skills of the Mighty Heart, we are helping organisations and individuals to unite mind, heart and purpose and transform personal and professional challenges. Through our charitable arm Plan for Peace we are enabling communities to transform local conflict and change conflict systems. And through our registered not-for-profit company we are enabling purposeful businesses to take a stand, invest in conflict prevention and invest and build infrastructures for peace between companies and communities.
An eclipse provides a pause and inspiration, hope and opportunities to reset for peace. There are concrete steps that we all can take. Invest in Peace. Join us.