The idea of having world peace and global cooperation is not new… it has existed for hundreds of years, if not more. In the late 18th century, Immanuel Kant proposed a league of nations (which today would be the United Nations) in his thesis on perpetual peace. In the late 60′s and early 70′s John Lennon had a “War is Over” campaign, which pushed the idea that world peace will happen if people believe it is possible and then make it happen.
Today, millions, if not billions, of people share the dream of humans co-existing without the need for international warfare. Yet it still eludes us… why?
One reason might be how the powers that be want to maintain the status quo (and therefore war), because they want to preserve their own power. Another might be how the unjust distribution of wealth (where a tiny percentage of the population controls nearly all the wealth) requires the majority population to be segregated, therefore the things that make us divided (like teaching religious intolerance or racism) have become institutionalized.
But really, most of the things that keep us from achieving world peace boil down to our inherent will to power (greed) and our desire to maintain the power we already have (fear). The status quo, the establishment, and our hierarchies are self-sustaining because the more power someone has, the less likely they will be to use it to change the system. This means that while we all want world peace, none of us want to risk losing what we already have, so we keep our mouths shut and never rock the boat.
But there is nothing inherent in humans that would prevent us from having a world of peace were we to achieve one. The world we have now is the world we were all born into… we’ve been taught hatred and violence and selfishness by the violent and selfish world around us. But if the world around us were peaceful and loving, we would learn peace and love.
If we had a world of peace, every new generation would be taught how to find the peace and calm within themselves. Just as a world of war makes it easy to believe in the inherent violence amongst humans (which thereby serves to perpetuate war), a world of peace would be self-perpetuating because world peace would make it easy to believe in the inherent peace and love amongst humans.
The quest for inner peace can help us find ways to constructively deal with our instincts like greed and fear. When we pursue inner peace, we get a sense of well-being and the ability to co-exist in peace with most anybody. So it is not world peace that is eluding us… if we had world peace, we would be able to keep it.
What eludes us is the desire and the will to transition to a world of peace, and this is lacking because we do not believe we can make it happen. As long as we cave to our fears and our doubts, we will squander our power to change the world and thereby pass the problems of todays world onto future generations.
So rather than live in fear and let war continue, we should be brave and believe in world peace. We need to truly believe it can happen, because it can!
The more we all want peace, the more we will contribute towards making the transition to a world of peace. While this transition has been happening for hundreds of years, there is no time like today, what with the billions of humans and the technology we will continue to advance. Go on…carpe that diem .