It’s been one of those days where all kinds of random thoughts have been popping in and out of my head. This particular one has stayed for a while, maybe even taken up residence and has made me think just a little bit deeper about it.
And here’s what I think. Despite all the hopeful beauty pageant contestants alongside political leaders and their platforms of “world peace” throughout the ages, there never has been such a thing as world peace. Never. At least not since human beings have lived on this speck of universal dust we call home.
The very first ever cave drawings, visual documentation of the first known human beings on this planet, contained images of battle. Everyone wanted their hand on a piece of the world.
And surprisingly, since we are so fond of giving clever names to wars, this hasn’t yet been monikered as “The First Man Wars.” Yet it seems like this was exactly what was going on. We are so fond of naming our battles and wars in fact that we can trace “famous” wars all the way back to 1274 BC, The Battle of Kadesh. I assume someone actually knows where Kadesh is or was and why it was being fought over, but that’s not of critical importance at this moment. Wars continued to be named for a thousand years before 1 BC and we are now well in to 2000 years of named wars on the other side of 1 AD without an end in sight. So clearly, never has there been world peace, at least that I can find traces of. And I got some mad Google skills.
Dan Plesch, author of The Beauty Queens Guide to World Peace argues that “world peace requires an economic and political revolution founded on the principles of democracy and human rights.” I’m not sure we can get everyone on the same page with this. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting that we are all warmongers. But it’s pretty clear that we all do want our own piece of the pie (mmmm, pie) to enjoy however we want and we certainly don’t want others telling us how, what, where, or when. So principles of democracy and human rights don’t always fit in to that same equation. We are a selfish people. We…all of us, every human being. We just are. Even if we aren’t warring nations, we are so often at odds with race, sexuality, gender and other individual rights within our own nations. Human rights!!!
In fact, experts currently believe that it is easy for us to feel like the whole world is at war because this is almost universally the case. “Of the 162 countries covered by the Institute for Economics and Peace’s (IEP’s) latest study (August 2014) just 11 were not involved in conflict of one kind or another.” Do you see that? 11! And I think we can all agree that even in those 11 countries, there is some kind of internal conflict happening. Human rights!
And to think that I am always hearing how conflict adverse people are. Seriously? Seems like a contradiction to me.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this. Just working through this lingering thought which seems to have lodged itself somewhere near the repeat button in my brain today. As an individual, though I am not without hope, I don’t believe that we as a human race are capable of world peace. We are to innately selfish, even the most generous and humanitarian amongst us. What I do think, is that we should really focus on what is going on in our own back yards, cities, counties, states, country before we go knocking on someone else’s door with our WMDs. How about just holding on to and making our piece of this world a pretty good place for EVERYONE who lives here? How about that? Why not focus on race relations, equity, homelessness, hunger, education, and all the other things that prevent us from being at peace here at home, let alone peace further abroad and world-wide.
I say, lets just do that for a while. And then, only when we are in mortal danger, or have taken care of our issues here in our own country, should we extend our involvement in to what those other humans are doing.