A friend posted on his Facebook wall: “Peace, what is it?”
“A world free of war and poverty, that’s peace,” somebody commented.
From dictionary.com we have one definition: Peace is a state of harmony between people or groups; freedom from strife.
And a more or less similar definition is offered by Merriam-webster.com: a state of quiet or tranquility, like freedom from civil disturbance or a state of security or order within communities provided for by laws or customs.
Thus there is no doubt, as the old saying goes, peace is something to be devoutly wished. But the question is: how do we make peace?
Mother Theresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) said peace is the fruit of love, or something to that effect. If we make love, we make peace. We propagate love; we propagate peace.
India’s Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) once said that people may live in peace only if they make a firm resolve to live in peace. Yet for how long have people been failing and at fault by not being able to make up their minds? In the past century, the world has plunged itself into depths of misery with two world wars, and more conflicts between and among nations. We add the civil wars that marred generations within countries and the overall picture is one that makes cynics out of people not inclined enough to propagate peace.
It is hard to blame them. Instead of living in peace, millions ended up resting in peace. Bloody wars have been one biggest single cause of mortality among the world’s living species. They are the ugliest of all mad-made disasters that have assaulted the earth, ever. War is man’s worst invention yet. The insanity behind its being is beyond comprehension, and yet the killings persist. Why? Oscar Wilde suspected that war will have its fascinations for as long as it is viewed as evil. Nevertheless, let everyone regard war as a criminal act, regardless of how people may justify it, said Ernest Hemingway.
And so the search for peace must continue. The ways to propagate peace must live. The dream has to endure.
Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali, writing in “Winning the Peace: a Quest,” said that living in a peaceful world still remains as the biggest challenge facing the human race. And peace is not only about a world without wars. Peace is also about a world without hunger and poverty, as the Facebook comment suggested. World leaders have pledged years ago to eradicate from the face of the earth poverty as one of the key points in what came to be known as Millennium Development Goals. And yet, as time for accounting of what have come out of those pledges nears, about one-fifth of the world’s population still lives with less than a dollar a day.
People are dying not only because of bloody conflicts but also because of hunger.
People need to dream, reflect and act together, as one global community, because “We Are The World,” as Michael Jackson’s hit song reminds us. And the world needs to propagate peace.