Passing thought…

On a chilly January evening, as I watched the last threads of sunlight ebbing away—almost losing to the settling dust and the winter chill; an old friend of mine asked me “why peace?” “Why is peace your cause?”… This intellectually inclined friend of mine had just finished reading an article by a professor of political science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His article was titled “Why War Is Inevitable”. What I was being old was that history repeated itself, like waves—and so wars were inevitable, because people change, contexts change – and so history leaves no indelible lesson etched for all of humankind to learn from.
The logic was perfect, the theory was sound—and yet I found myself plagued by a deep sense of revulsion. Peace encompasses respect of the self, co-operation and trust. Non-violence asserts self-expression. It promotes human rights through communication, tolerance and celebration of differences.
Peace is not an ideal we seek, it is a means through which we arrive at that goal, said Martin Luther King. But why? That has to be one of the first questions we need to answer. Peaceful interaction, between people and between people and the earth, is essential. But again, why? One way to answer is to understand first the history of peace. Historically, what King tried telling us was his: There is no way to peace. Peace is the way
Life’s sanctity is based on the view that life in its infinite diversity inherently possesses unparalleled virtue and wisdom. Yet the most profound contribution to peace lies at the individual level.
I do not believe that we are in a unique era in which the past is irrelevant. The argument that the nuclear age has transformed the ways, in which weapons can be used in pursuit of national interests, has altered the prospects for peace movements. However, nuclear weapons have not yet transformed our way of thinking about weapons (weapons still kill), and so I doubt that peace movements will fail
The tasks remain the same as always. People still need to be reached, still need to be convinced, to be moved. Worldwide vulnerability due to nuclear weapons does not in itself reach, convince or move people. Such efforts are the tasks of peace movements.
I suspect there is a much simpler answer to he ‘why peace’ question that even years of history, philosophy and science cannot teach. It dawned on me later, down that same road on that same winter evening. “It just isn’t any fun if things are not peaceful”, my six year old nephew had said. No answer was closer or truer.