I’m optimistic that there is a growing appetite for peace in the world. Many young people are fed up with war and violence. – Dalai Lama
What does that mean?
There have always been people against war. There have always been people in favor of war. But in today’s democracies, with a willing press, it is easy to sway large numbers of people to support war.
However, with video recording and sharing being so easy these days, the horror which war entails is easier to bring to the people, even if the press isn’t that interested in showing it to us.
This democratization of imagery has helped people who better understand war as something other than an abstract concept. The younger generation is picking up on this method of finding and sharing information, and I believe that is part of the reason.
There will be times when war is the lesser evil when compared to what a country is doing to those within or without, but it is still a tough choice. As we become more familiar as individuals with what war truly is, we can better decide what we are willing to do.
Why is peace important?
There are many ways to make peace. However, in a world where some leaders attack others, some method must be used to hold them in check. The threat or use of force is often the only option. Sanctions often only hurt their people, and leave the leaders unharmed. Unfortunately, war is not exactly a sharper tool.
In peace, we can devote our energies and our focus on things which are for the betterment of mankind. In war, some of that must be siphoned off in order to support the war effort. While even in peace, there must be some level of preparedness for war, it is a lesser drain than in times of war.
Peace also means fewer deaths. That means more people can live their lives to their content, not cut short or changed by war. It means dreams live on, and can be realized. It means that fields can be planted with crops instead of gravestones.
Yes, I believe there is a time for war. However, I believe we go to war far too easily and often too soon. For peace to reign, we must be prepared for war, and we must be convincing in our threat to use it. It must also be won quickly and absolutely. Unfortunately, that’s not how war is fought anymore.
Where can I apply this in my life?
Unless you are a despot, and considering starting a war, there is little you can do to directly increase the levels of peace in the world. What you can do, though is work within yourself and with the people with whom you are regularly in contact.
How do you help yourself, and others, to be peaceful in a world full of swirling emotions? How do you help tamp down the anger and hatred in your life, and in the lives of people around you? How do you find peace in your life? What do you do to maintain it?
Beyond yourself and the people with whom you are regularly in contact, what can you do to practice peace? What can you do to reduce or limit violence? It can be as simple as not looking like food. If you think of a violent criminal as being hungry, you try not to look like food.
If everyone spent a little more time doing basic personal security, being aware of their surroundings and were ready, willing and able to defend themselves, violence would be reduced. The more helpless you look, the more you resemble food, and the more likely you are to be a victim of violence.
On a larger scale, it is up to us, as citizens of democracies, to insist on better and more complete disclosure of the reasons why going to war is the best alternative. It also means we have to elect people who are of the same mind. For those who don’t have a say in their government, it will be tougher, but change will come eventually.
That brings us to ‘civil action’ about war. There has been much press about some recent wars, and the actions of groups of people trying to stop the war. Yes, we have opinions, but consider what that does for the war effort once war has been engaged?
Diluting the will to war, once war is declared, only emboldens the enemy. They think “If only I can hold out a little longer, the people at home will stop the war, and I will win!” How does that help deter future aggressors, and prevent future wars?
This is an interesting quote, and a very volatile subject. I welcome comments from those with other viewpoints. Just be prepared for my questions. I will want to know why you believe what you do, and if you have any examples to show that your theory holds up in the real world. 8)
- On Peace and Poppies (lauravoskamp.wordpress.com)
- For A White Poppy – Thank A Veteran (georgeberger.wordpress.com)
- Basic Facts About the Chinese Character for Peace (china.answers.com)
- Growing Old – A Sign of Peace (livingwellatuhn.com)
- Is War And Conflict Inevitable? Researchers Believe Psychology Can Promote Peace; Cites Mandela As Example Who Offered Different Approach (medicaldaily.com)