Give flight to words of peace

Flying dove of peace

Image by Ayuugyi, licensed under CC3.0

“What’s so funny ’bout peace, love, and understanding?”  ~ Nick Lowe

“Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.”  ~ Jesus

“All we are saying is give peace a chance.”  ~ John Lennon

“We look forward to the time when the Power of Love will replace the Love of Power. Then will our world know the blessings of peace.”  ~ British Prime Minister William E. Gladstone (1809-1898)

“There can only be peace when they will start to love their children more than they hate us.”  ~ Golda Meir

“If we are to reach real peace in the world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

3 Responses to Give flight to words of peace

  1. Jenny J. says:

    In the article “Assessing the Basis for a Culture of Peace in Contemporary Societies,” Joseph Rivera (2004) assess whether or not empirical evidence show that the bases of the culture of peace promoted by the UN are needed for a peaceful world. According to the UN, the eight different bases for a culture of peace were education, sustainable development, human rights, gender equality, democratic participation, understanding/tolerance/solidarity, free flow of information, and international peace and security. Rivera (2004) analyzed the same 74 nations that were studied by the Committee for the Culture of Peace. Rivera looked at whether or not there was one peacefulness factor. He concluded that four factors were related to peace. The factors are liberal development, violent inequality, violent means, and nurturance.

    I don’t think that there is only one single factor that is related to a peaceful society. In order to achieve peace, there needs to be several factors working together. On paper, being a peaceful seems like an easy thing to do. However, in practice, this concept is difficult to obtain. There has never been a period of time where the entire world was at peace. There were/are always violent conflicts going on whether it is between countries, religions, or even family members. Our society has relied on wars and violence for too long. We need to start educating people on the costs of war and the effectiveness of peace. This world is big enough for everyone to live in peacefully. In order to achieve peace, we all need to work together. Peace will not occur overnight. Peace starts from home. We need to first teach our children nonviolent means of conflict resolution.

    • Ethan Hovest says:

      I agree with you, Jenny. I think that the time has come for action. Research is always a good thing, but not when there isn’t enough effort to put what we have learned from it into action. That’s always been a problem (putting science’s research into action), and will continue to be that way until science learns to educate the common people. It’s not enough for scientists to know how to effectively handle situations, the average person needs to be able to apply what is known as well. That’s one reason I enjoy posting to this blog so much (even though it is a requirement for class, I enjoy doing it); insofar as it allows us to put knowledge out there for people to read if they are interested. This provides an opportunity for the average person to know whats going on. This blog uses current examples, and with many students posting information about recent research, allows people to decide for themselves what is best option.

      I especially agree with you in your belief that peace “is difficult to obtain.” However, I don’t think it would be this difficult if people understood the facts of what was going on. The facts about benefits associated with peaceful resolutions. Fact: People respond to factual information. We need to use this knowledge in that education system you mentioned. We are working against a lot here, but I think that it is possible, with time and lots of energy, to get people thinking about peace.

  2. Nikolai Jessen-Petersen says:

    As I usually start off all of my posts, I will begin by saying that I took Professor Malley-Morrison’s to learn about the notions of war and peace, and everything related to these concepts. I feel as if I am much more educated as the classes have gone by, but I still consider myself to be rather limited in my knowledge. So if my posts appear to be over-idealist, and unrealistic, then I blame my lack of appropriate knowledge in the matter I am discussing.

    Today in class, we watched a film called, “War Made Easy”. This was film highly related to George Lakoff and his writings about the use of metaphors and euphemistic language by politicians to justify violence and war. In the film, ex-politician Wayne Morse made an appearance, and discussed the notion of what a democracy should be. From what I remember, although I simply cannot exactly remember the quote, he brought up the notion that a true democracy should entail decisions to go to war and sacrifice the lives of the people should be up to the people. And the role of the president should be the administrator on the global scale of the country’s decision.

    After reading the article from International Psychology Bulletin about “Is Peace Possible? Citizens’ Views”, I couldn’t help but observe the powerful paragraph in the discussion section about what people really think of the notion of peace, as opposed to what their governments preach, “To the extent that they thought world peace could be achieved, the vast majority of the current sample suggested that the best routes were peaceful ones” and “Suggestions that peace could be achieved through military might were remarkably rare,”.

    I find it interesting how in a democracy we leave the vote of who our leader, our president should be to the opinions of the people. Yet after the elections, we do not trust our people to have a role in making the decisions that we assume only the president and executive government leaders should be making. We trust the people to make a decision on who should lead our country, but we don’t trust them to make decisions on what decisions the leader will be making. There should be a vote casted by the people, yes or no, on whether their country should go to war or not, and put the lives of their people, and other people, in jeopardy.

    In his quote, Wayne Morse states that the American people should be trusted with the right amount of intelligence to correctly interpret the facts “justifying” why the country should be going to war. If the decision had been left to the people as to whether the U.S. should have gone to war in Vietnam, or in Iraq, the deaths of millions could have been avoided. Yet we left the decision making power solely in the hands of our “leader”, the president, the person who has a right to make such bold decisions, who we voted for. We trust the people’s sound judgment to choose a good leader, yet we do not trust them to make good decisions on other matters? It’s a strange conundrum, that one cannot ignore as somewhat legitimate.

    My question is, will Wayne Morse’s proposal ever possibly happen in American society, and in every society. The proposal that leaving decisions such as going to war and putting the lives of human beings in danger, be left in the hands of the people, who the majority of are highly educated. Would such a change, lead to a more peaceful world? This isn’t a euphemized proposal, in reference to George Lakoff, it’s an actual question.

    Just a further thought I’d like to mention, is that after reading this article it seems to be that the future is looking bright for future greater peace in this world. I feel as if we could definitely be doing a better job in educating our children on the importance of peace, however it seems that we’re already doing a decent job, if pretty much all the children in the study seem to be on the same page in that peace is the right, and good thing.

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