IG’s Peace Blog

Peace and its many aspects

a few reflections

As I’ve indicated in a few posts, we live in an era of “forces” that pull us in opposite directions.  Our cultures reflect the accumulated violence of the past.  We see it in our language, our games our monuments, etc…  Many males have (sadly) been socialized to be violent in certain contexts–we even see violent reactions as “normal” in these situations (“What did you expect him to do?”  “Boys will be boys”  etc…).  We praise “aggressiveness” as a quality worth acquiring, and see it as essential for success in many fields of endeavor.

At the same time, peace and the desire to achieve peace is, all things considered, on the rise.  Of course, given what real, or positive, peace entails, there is a long way to go and nothing is guaranteed.  After all, real peace is a bi-product of a model of civilization that resolves conflicts creatively and proactively.  The good news is that more and more people are understanding this; the bad news is that we are a long way from finding and implementing such a model of social relations.  In fact, it can be rather discouraging and demotivating to try to see the “whole” problem.  Why?  Because, if we are honest with ourselves, we have to admit that the planet, in its entirety needs to change.  From the micro to the macro level, new values and social institutions need to emerge:  there is just too much evidence that what we have now does not seem to be working–not at the level of the family, not at the level of inter-state relations nor anywhere in between.

Still, one should not feel too overwhelmed or discouraged, I think.  Change is happening at all levels, right now.  It is, as Toynbee the historian wrote, a process of challenge and response.  History shows that humans can respond to challenge and move on to higher levels of social organization and cultural achievement.  However, sometimes they don’t respond adequately, and that is what makes the current situation quite dramatic.   We see before us the human race struggling to move into an era of a peaceful (with all that implies), planetary civilization.

IGbarb says:  “Go humanity…I hope we make it!”


September 30, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,

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