Saturday, July 18, 2009

World peace facebook group discussion: "imperfect humans" thread

I just spent ages responding to questions posed by a guy called Peter Fodor on the Facebook group "world peace" and have decided to share the post (post 71) here. Peter's question was: "how can world peace be achieved on a planet with imperfect humans?"His postings revealled a very detailed knowledge of global human crisis, Government failures, and a pretty fixed view of the hopelessness of the situation. The way he was expressing this view was causing a bit of a ruckus...
I said: "Peter, I think the question you have posed taps into some very big territory. It is wonderful to have a place to explore it.

I enjoyed hearing your conversation with Mark but must admit I was relieved when Ann chipped in and challenged you. We all have choices and though you think of yourself as an optimist your consistent expression has been the opposite, and for a peace forum, I found that disturbing. It is my view that if we wish to experience or create greater peace we focus on peace not its opposite. (That does not mean denying the current reality, where opportunities for positive action definitely exist).

I was also struck by the fact that so much of your "argument" against peace relates to "evidence" provided by the external world. One of my favourite quotes is "there will not be peace on Earth till there is peace in the hearts of every man, woman and child".

To me this says that each of us are responsible for our own peacefulness and contributing to the peacefulness of others... pointing a finger at governments etc is a way of giving our power away (waiting for "someone else" to fix it), and - can I offer this as a question? - possibly shirking our responsibilities? (What are we doing in our day-to-day lives to create a culture of peace (that may eventually create permanent change)? Or to give and share peacefulness with those we meet every day?).

Peace is not an intanguible that exists (or does not exist) "out there". I believe it is something that starts within and can be created and shared with others. Granted, what we are seeing around us right now is the creative expression of many people who are not peaceful. But as WE change, hopefully what we create will also change...?

Continuing to read, it was with relief I came across your reference to Rinpoche. I hope you are continuing to seek out Buddhist texts and information about other peaceful philosophies. I think it is always a good thing to be exposed to new viewpoints and possibilities for seeing things in new ways and that may be a very interesting path - for you and for us all!

...If we have never been exposed to alternative ways of being and given examples of different ways to react or interact how can we expect change to occur around us?

It is for this reason I believe that learning and education is so fundamental, especially in countries where an extreme lack of peacefulness exists. And also why demonstrations of generosity and compassion are so important.

Thank you for starting this conversation, Peter. I wish you (and those who read this) joy and ever greater peacefulness."

Finding joy in each day
Volunteering in Africa - Kiandu School

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