Foundations of Peace

Modern building blocks of war are pornography and gratuitous violence, particularly in films and games. They de-sensitise us to how others feel, they create a milieu of abuse. They express the emotional illiteracy of toddler-tantrums. You know them without realising: bosses who shout at employees, footballers who fake pain, thieves and lazy bones.
I remain optimistic that most people- a huge majority – want peace and essentially find that war is a bore. But most of us also still dabble with the indicators and signfiers of war – through prurience, at best reminding ourselves of what we want to avoid, a bi-polar perception.
We know we want peace, now we will lay the foundations. The digging has already been done – by the voices of faith, the poets of peace and justice, the history of the fall of all empires, the futile blood shed by millions over millenia.
We will turn our swords into ploughshares, our spears into pruning hooks, our guns into chisels, trowels and spades, our bombs into measuring tapes and telescopes.
We will teach individuals without hurting them, and nurture the talent each one has. Our communities will respect the dignity of their children and their elders and not harm them.
Where young people or adults are endangering themselves and others, we should pay close attention to the hurt they cause and challenge it with a series of interventions, from soft to hard. This succinct approach will help lay the foundations for peace – tackling the worst offenders at the outset, on the frontline, at the grass roots. Initially, especially when they are young, the basis must be to seek to understand the thought patterns that inform poor behaviour and use reason and cognitive development. Ultimately there have to be strong sanctions, to firmly deter recidivism.

But isn’t it obvious that when presidents and prime ministers are still strutting their guns and bombs, that some ordinary guys will follow their leaders and shed blood for treasure. It doesn’t matter how the causes of war are dressed up and whatever “just war” logic is used, it remains no different to the playground bully, boasting he will get his way by might.

There should never again be a war, except one fought by the United Nations – and if this tragedy happens it must be a stepping stone to long-time peace. We have the universe and beyond to occupy our minds. It’s only a matter of near-time when we stop the slaughter of miscreants and innocents. We’ve reached the mountain top and glimpsed the other side – now lets take step by step the journey towards heaven on earth.

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