Let’s Talk About PeacePosted: 2014/03/12
Let’s Talk About Peace
Life has two faces
if you owe it dignity
one face is love
the other is peace.
Today I want to talk about peace, let space fill itself with peaceful waves, since it is overwhelmed of warlike speeches, of violence, of enmity, of hostility, of hate and resentment.
Today I want to talk about peace, because there is no other motive or other word rather than love, that can be expressed in present times, when mankind has forgotten about mankind, of his dignity and his destiny.
Today I want to talk about peace, because I want to know if we are committed to it, if we really love peace and mankind, if we are willing to give it all, including our own life because of that.
Today I want to talk about peace, and place it in the world leaders’ speeches, sounding their words worldwide.
Today I want to talk about peace, and hope it is authentic and true, a task of every man worth his salt, who believes in brotherhood and in duties.
Today I want to talk about peace, and summon the Pope, the world leader of the Synagogue, and the world leader of the Muslim community, to get together and appear in Gaza, the war place, to beg and pray for peace. Because there is no higher love than giving your own life for a brother.
Living in peace is the natural order. Life undoubtedly has no plenitude or positive development in the middle of a war. In spite of history, that shows us that wars have always existed and possibly will always exist, we must live in peace.
There are two determinant factors of an armed encounter, possession and power, and a collateral element like discrimination and racism or national xenophobia. Both at the individual or social level, ostentation is a variable that men look for as a way of easing their anxieties and of showing superiority. Parades, videos and films of the potential arming of a nation go permanently around as a form of showing the world the level achieved and the place that country has in the armament ranking.
Power fascinates, power sublimates, power elevates the self esteems and it is the most profound demonstration of perversion in the inner feelings of the human being.
Power invests in reality, misplaces the bilateral relations and establishes differences between people and nations.
It is the first step to domination, the second component of this process, that is, possession. The more I possess, the better I am. The more I have, the more respected I will be. The more I conquer, the better my destiny will be.
Discrimination and xenophobia are understood under these circumstances. Everybody who does not belong to my country, my race, my color, is different, inferior and I must dominate him/her. Why? Because they are not up to my expectations, because they can not choose better. Because they have no capacity for self determination.
In this context, how can we live as a country, how can we promote it, and how can we predicate in its favor so that others can be keen on peace? Is it possible? Undoubtedly. Just think about Mahatma Gandhi’s story, facing the British Empire, without guns, preaching no-violence. The story of Mandela and others are sufficient reasons to think that it is possible to promote peace. But there is an inner component that determines our position. You need to have inner peace, you need to be in harmony with yourself to be able to understand and promote peace.
The most sensitive way of living in inner harmony is forgiveness, forgiving oneself and forgiving others. Beyond deserving it or not, forgiveness dissolves conflict, it solves my conflict, it takes my resentment and my hate away, and it makes me live in peace.
The other component is humility, understanding each other’s role and position, without self-righteousness or arrogance.
From this humility comes respect to others, to other nations. Respect to who is different.
It does not matter if results are not achieved, if no one is listening, or if we preach in the dessert. It is thought that the prophet Isaiah said: Let’s hope that the day you die they don’t have to write in your epitaph that you were a dog because you never barked.
But apart from theorizing about peace, it needs to be put into actions, we need to act, and our behavior and actions must be peaceful, as well as the solutions to our conflicts.
One of the entries of the word solution is the act of process of solving a difficulty, in the sense of ending or finishing something or a conflict. It is also the reason why the difficulty of an argument and the end of a process is dissolved. The solution tends to put an end, to finish a matter, to solve what was in question and could not be finished.
There are several types of solutions, some are correct, others are not; some are adequate to the difficulty, others are reasonable or compulsory. One of the most significant differences in the solution is if it is violent or peaceful. If it is imposed by force, or if it is reasonably agreed on. Peaceful is something calm, referring to people friends of peace.
It’s also something quiet, without any opposition, contradiction or alteration to its state or situation.
It is something tending to pacify, or a group of measures destined to set a common principle in opposing places or areas that endure in time.
It tends to achieve a stop in violence, and to get a debate in the setting of adequate rules or laws for both parties.
Therefore, a peaceful solution will be one which discourages violence, one that searches a dialogue between the two parties involved in the conflict, and one which respects the position and the dignity of all the people involved in the situation. It will be reached by agreement and attending all the rights and conditions of the parties.
It is prioritizing peace in mankind. It means not only a legal position but also an existential one, understanding human life from the balance that peace states in the relations of countries. It is prioritizing the human being to ideologies, underlining individual and social needs, too.
There has permanently been, there is and there will be conflicts in the course of history, since the human being has its conditions, limitations and own interests. Many of them collide among themselves, and are not compatible with their neighbor’s interests, and sometimes with the internal groups of a country.
It was hard for humanity to understand that war was not the only way of determining who is right in a conflict. In spite of the centuries that have passed, there is still now many questions solved by force, by pushing, by the position of the strongest, the most powerful or the one with the best armament.
Which is the way of getting peaceful solution to our conflicts?
There is a personal position, a social position but there is also behavior and education.
Peace can be achieved by making efforts, lacking things, with a permanent necessary attitude of avoiding warlike confrontation, either through words or armed events. It is behavior that demands willing, capacity and continuity. Men should learn to control their reactions, even the most instinctive ones to rationalize them and to be filtered by the process of brotherhood, solidarity and pacification. And above all, learning to give in, not referring to important questions, to those that could be one way or the other but both good or acceptable for the solution.
There is a number of questions stated by the epistemologist Karl Popper, member of the Vienna Circle, who said that in any situation, familiar, educative, political, social or friendly, a person must start a debate or discussion about them, with two very simple but amazingly deep ethical principles. The first one is to think maybe you are right, the second is to think maybe neither you nor me are right. In this way, it is possible to find a really peaceful solution to conflicts, and to maintain authentically the rights and freedom of everybody.
The transformation and history of the world have changed the conditions and they often provoke situations that are not ideal or even correct. Because society in this postmodern world is in constant change. Its evolution follows a growing curve determined not only by the scientific and technological advances, but also by the social contents. But frequently this change is not produced in the correct direction. The famous Greek triad of social values: truth, beauty and wellness, has been substituted by another triad that has nothing to do with it. Nowadays the values to which society is bound to are fame, money and power.
It is precisely this social concept, power, that affects peace the most, especially when this greed for power is limitless. Following Aristotle we can say that this concept of power is strength, capacity to do something, to take action. But in this social concept, power has turned into domination. And it is the spark that starts the conflict, and that conflict becomes warlike. Because every one wants to show his capacity and his power. Notwithstanding the means, and at any expense.
A differential rank is set. There are powerful nations that are distinguished from the rest. It’s enough to think about the Group of Eight. If these nations followed the classic Greek values, they could exert an ethical control on their people, but in the view of the present values, they exert pure strength, coercion, intimidation towards the weaker countries. This generates war and offends peace.
Present conflicts are similar to those of the Imperial Rome. There is not only a war conflict, but also the destruction of traditions, history and culture of nations. The Romans fought, occupied lands and dominated people conquered under their authority. After fighting against the Carthaginians, when they could occupy it, General Escipion destroyed Carthage completely, and ordered to scatter salt over the occupied land so that herbs could never be grown again. The present conflicts systematically destroy, indiscriminately kill, their objectives are lost and extinguishing a terrorist group, a city, a school or anything is the same.
How can humanity live in peace? Peace is harmony and balance.
Peace is firstly an inner attitude, from the soul, based on man’s dignity, solidarity and equality. We need to think that this is the reality we must move in. Apart from a critical attitude, without arrogance, accepting our own mistakes and believing that truth can be within ourselves. And above all, we must stop greed. There is no peace if man desires strongly and measurelessly. You can not wear simultaneously three pairs of shoes or suits, nor live in five different houses or traveling in four cars at the same time. A greedy man wants more, it is never enough for him, and he is never satisfied but deep inside him he is a poor man, because he is always in lack of something.
Peace is a commitment for everybody, even at our own expense. Nobody is exempt from searching peace, within oneself, within his community and in the world.
Some time ago, I stated that peace is a necessary support for the life of mankind on earth and that there is no possible order without peace. Also that although some particular facts were serious, we tried to interpret and project them from a general philosophical framework, since nothing is casual in life, and all events are causal and necessarily incorporated to an ideology or at least to an idea of their makers.
Moreover, we stated that there is a lack of model, of figures upon whom one can reflect or inspire, especially outstanding men, whose lives have been a reflexion of their thoughts and ideals. We expressed in this column before, that peace is the necessary support in the life of a man on earth, and there is not possible order without peace. In Ancient Rome one of the essential institutions both in the Republic and the Empire was the Senate, a collegiate body integrated by the men who had reached mature age in their adulthood and represented their idealism and the feelings of their race, and who had showed it with their lives.
That is why I would like to analyze some present facts from a more general rather than a more punctual vision, even knowing that they have deep causes, very understandable ones, which sometimes provoke untenable situations, upsetting the human being and causing incorrect or non-analyzed reactions.
The war in Gaza seems to have ended. Nothing is for ever in this issue, nor is this type of battles underneath which lies the divergence and the ideological, religious and social disparity, unaccepted by both the otherness and the respect to what the other thinks or feels.
It is noticeable that war was produced in the last breath of the government administration that has been characterized by warlike spirit and before the administration guided by a different President. Different in his party, in his ideological conception, in his race and color, and in his principles. Evidently, the arrival of a color man at the Presidency of the U.S.A. is an event destined to mark a historical landmark, possibly a hinge in the collective operation of this post modern world so worn out in its social relations. It is also possible that, as he has proposed, a time of peace can start.
In view of that, and stating that nothing is done in this world that has not been dreamed of before, it is necessary for all Nations, corporations and intermediate societies and men in the world to dream of peace.
Dreaming of peace and applying it in their speeches and their actions. May all words be peaceful, of understanding, of solidarity and of love to the others. May their actions be coherent with their speech, may violence not be the answer, and may peace be promoted.
May all differences be solved rationally, and the acceptance of the other’s reality be indispensable for that solution.
That is how it will be possible TO HAVE PEACE BACK AGAIN.