IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

a note of optimism

Just me reflecting a bit…

I have written a bit about what I think I will call “irenopessimism” (“irene” meaning peace in Greek…I think).  First, I think I understand and I am sympathetic with the feeling that peace is impossible.   However, as an even moderately regular reader of this blog would have noticed, I try, while hopefully remaining realistic, to show that the evidence does not necessarily support a one dimensionally negative view of the question.  There are signs that things are getting better, and certainly could be a lot worse.

Along these lines, early this morning it sort of “came” to me that the emergence of the “green” movement, could be seen as an indicator that humanity can, admittedly with some difficulty, begin to learn, integrate relevant information and start to move in a direction more conducive to its own long term survival and prosperity.  You see, one of the “advantages” of being a bit older (I won’t say how much) is that you can remember how things “used to be” (at least in regard to some things).  I can remember when almost nobody had heard of “ecology”, or talked much about “environmentalism”, or anything like that.  There had been one seminal and very scary book published that started many people wondering if using pesticides might be a problem over the long run.  It was by Rachel Carson, and it was called Silent Spring .  From that point, though, environmental thinking just started to snowball, and against all the resistance of vested interests, has become the important force in public policy it is today.  I won’t go into the details, but the parallels with thinking about peace (and in fact the two “movements” are probably now one, more or less) are interesting.

1.  At the beginning people didn’t think much could or really needed to be done

2.  There were very important players acting to stop or impede progress

3.  Industry was certainly one of these, but has started to come around

4.  Eventually, environmental issues found their way into the media and education


To make my argument very simple:  if environmentalism could make this much progress, so can the core of (other) peace concerns and issues.  So, I would go so far as to assert that “irenopessimism” while still very much with us, is an endagnered species :-), and hopefully will soon be nearly extinct as the still swelling snowball of irenism gradually (but with increasing momentum) wipes it out (sorry for the rather violent image, but I do think we need to “wage” peace, don’t you).

IGbarb says:  “Peace Now!”


April 15, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I enjoyed this post. I never thought of the parallel between environmentalism and peace, but it is easy to see how that exists. One could think of it as “planetary” peace, healing our planet. I believe that every day we are one day closer to world peace. In fact that is a common affirmation in my mediation; I see the world as a peaceful place, all world leaders working toward a harmonious existence. I just wrote a post called “Peace” and would love your feedback. Namaste, Sherry
    Daily Spiritual Tools

    Comment by Sherry | April 15, 2010 | Reply

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