For a long time I thought I'd found inner peace at an early age. While I don't doubt that particular belief as a whole I've recently come to a very difficult question. If I indeed do not know inner peace I will have to thoroughly question how far I am from it after this. The question at hand though is based on my stunning realization that I don't truly know myself. While watching a video of myself I didn't recognize myself at all which is beside the point which it lead me to. What I'd realized is that I know myself in context in a past tense but I don't truly know myself in the broader sense or of what kind of person I really am. It's more than a simple conflict of good or evil, Yin/Yang would be more accurate, but a greater level of complex and intricate variables that influence my entire thought process and how much control I have over it. I'm confident in my decisions and not to be headstrong but I don't change them often. I'm a firm believer in the first choice is always the right one.
For me it doesn't matter on a moral level of how or why I make my choice but it's important to me to know it all the same. If you help someone does it matter how you help them or why? It may not be direct help and it may not even be help in the traditional sense but sometimes it's more effective. This is portrayed as the starving man who's given fish for a day and then starves to death vs the starving man who's taught to fish in a day without eating but then feasts like a king for the rest of his days by the knowledge gained in that day. However this concept can be broadened to the starving man who isn't helped either because he does not deserve it or has not earned it, or even simply that it will make him weaker and it's in his own best interest to learn how to survive without help.
So whether I follow the path of direct help or indirect help, of giving or teaching, of social or literal Darwinism I'm comfortable with my decisions. The question of my inner peace comes from a simple and elegant yet profound idea that how can you be at peace with yourself if you don't even know yourself in the true sense. Can you really be at peace with the darkest parts of yourself you don't even know about? If you connect in the sense that all people are a part of each other can you really be at peace with someone you don't know? I believe you can, though for how long I'm unsure. Inner peace is a constant struggle with the world. It is transient and rarer than any gem known to man, therefore you should embrace it entirely whenever you can. I hope this will help you alleviate some of your regrets on your path through life.