Peaceful Places

Top Four American Peaceful Places

Different cultures might have different notions about what makes for their own peaceful places.  The very concept of what denotes “peace” might be very different if you were to ask a French businessperson versus a Sherpa who lives on the lowest steppes of the Alps.  Each, however is sure to have some sense of where their “peaceful place,” the place where they are most likely to feel tranquil and at one with the universe, might be. 

 

Therefore, here is an unofficial list of some of the peaceful places that Americans like:

The Wilderness

For many Americans, nothing makes them feel more at peace than being out in the great outdoors as it was once called.  A forest hike, or going to see Old Faithful, makes them feel completely tranquil.  Though some city folk might feel as if they are about to be eaten by a bear, those who feel more at home in the wilderness will often say that they feel more at one with the universe and with the greater forces that they sense out in it when they are staring into that star covered night sky than at any other time.  One can certainly understand the feeling.

Your Childhood Home

For many of us, however, nowhere is calming than in our childhood room—that room where you felt utterly safe and cared for in a way that no adult really feels anymore.  For those of us who are lucky enough to have living parents that still reside in our childhood homes, there is nothing more soothing than returning home for a few days—especially when you have been through a particularly trying period.

So powerful is this image of a childhood home, however, that one need not actually go to the home but only be reminded of it.  The smell of cookies like the ones that your mother made, or the just closing your eyes and imagining that childhood home is enough to fill many of us with a sense of inner stillness and warmth.  In fact, that is the reason why such relaxation techniques invoke such images in order to try to get an individual’s body to relax.

The Ocean

For many Americans the best of peaceful places is the shore of the ocean.  Being able to look out into the Pacific or Atlantic makes many Americans feel clear headed and at peace with their inner and outer selves. The connection between the solid dry land in which we live and that endless waterway makes us feel connected to the feeling of eternity.  So powerful is this connection between the seas and our feeling of wonder at the immense order of the universe that Freud called the feeling of connection with a higher power, “the oceanic feeling.”

Our Automobiles

It is a testament to our car culture that many Americans view their domain, their place of peace, as their automobile.  With the average American spending almost an hour a day commuting, it is perhaps not altogether surprising that many of us see our automobile as the most peaceful place.  This is perhaps a good thing since that works out to about fifteen days a year, or one out of every twenty years.

On the other hand, many Americans say just the opposite.  For them the car the least peaceful place where they are prone to rages and frustration over the difficulty of traffic ion our overcrowded freeways.

From American choices on this matter, we can get a sense of what comforts and is important to us.  In part, the answer is family and in part refuge from the frenetic pace of modern life.