There is nothing more basic to human existence than the need for security. Nothing draws us together as a species any more quickly than when that basic level of primordial security is threatened (read about an example here and here). But sadly everyday in this world the security of humanity is threatened. Whether it is from war, poverty, famine, disease, or disaster, our world continues to be in tremendous need of peace. Daunting problems? Yes. Debilitating issues? Absolutely. Insurmountable? I don’t think so. Please, I promise not to preach. I just want to share my opinion and perspective.
I believe with all my being that resolution to all of these problems, and particularly the problem of war and national aggression lies within our hands. Those of us who are fortunate enough to live in free societies with representative democratic governments hold the power to bring an end to aggression. I must take a stand and make the commitment to stop acts of aggression by my own hands. I must decide to live at peace at all costs. I must be willing to allow all of humanity the freedom for diverse life and expression that I desire for myself. I must bind myself in peace to all of humanity and stand with them to meet the needs for safety, security and sustenance that drives all acts of aggression.
By standing together and sharing the wealth of the world, combined with the granting of freedom for diversity in life, the only driving factor of aggression that would remain would be greed and the lawlessness that results. Governments derived from the will of a free, law-abiding, peaceful humanity can then join together to put down lawlessness without the need for war and oppression of the rights of the people.
Idealistic? Yes. Other-worldly? Maybe. Impossible to attain? I don’t believe so. And I believe the peace movement is growing in force across the world as many of the basic issues of life are being resolved through our global community. Don’t give up on peace. Don’t give up on hope. Don’t give up on humanity. “All I am saying, is give peace a chance.”
Islam: “let there be no injury and no requital”
Judaism: “One should choose to be among the persecuted, rather than the persecutors”
Buddhism: “Victory breeds hatred for the defeated live in pain. Happily live the peaceful, giving up victory and defeat”
Sikhism: “Those who beat you with fists, do not pay them the same coin. But go to their house and kiss their feet”
Christianity: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one
strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if
any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.”
Mahatma Gandhi: “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love”, “Be the change you want to see in the world”
Martin Luther King Jr. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” “Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
Benjamin Franklin: “There never was a good war or a bad peace”
H.H. The Dalai Lama: “I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one’s own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace. Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where the people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free. Responsibility does not only lie with the leaders of our countries or with those who have been appointed or elected to do a particular job. It lies with each of us individually. Peace, for example, starts within each one of us. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us. When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
May a greater peace and a greater good encompass us all as we seek to live our short lives in security and prosperity. Peace to you all.