REINVENTING THE VALUE OF PEACE-PARTII
The world has invented modern technologies, striding forward in the field of physics, mathematics and other sciences. It has in recognition given Nobel prizes to those accomplishing remarkable feats in these spheres. It is constantly exploring new horizons, tapping valuable resources of the earth. The human body has been dissected and explored, tremendous strides in medicine and diagnosis of diseases unearthed. Psychologists like Sigmund Freud and Carlos Jung have done intrusive research into the mind of man, analyzed its complexities and its intricate workings.
In many spheres spectacular innovations have been made which have drastically changed the shapes of our lives. These new technologies have changed lifestyles and given new perspective to life. Likewise social change has transformed the face of societies.
In the arena of religion, we have evolved from a belief in many gods to a universal faith in One God. But we have gone further and done a profiling of religion, dividing it into two levels of thought. One is the liberals who follow a rational line of comprehension, malleable to change and reform. The second school panders to fundamentalists who follow a single line, literalists in thought, reading a rigid interpretation to theoretical dogma. Like stagnant water in a pond, flowing neither outwards nor inwards, it breeds fungi and rot. The law of nature dictates that all things must continuously flow, change and evolve to sustain life. Man exercises his free will, his individual faculties to nurture life.
Growth is only possible when people are free to assert their individual will and faculties. Freedom releases energy to create and function productively. The inverse breeds misery, hatred and perversity or at its worst insanity when we distort social traditions, religion and justice to manipulate people. It is when we reform and change laws breeding negativity, can we bring a radical social change. Does not nature breed seasonal fruits and plants to blossom and ripen? Old clichés return again and again reinforcing themselves_ ‘Sow as you shall reap’
In the past, countries lived in quasi-isolation with an illusion of self-sufficiency. With little interaction and absence of diplomatic channels, nations picked up quarrels, spiraling wars resulting in conquests, annexation of territory and the powerful hold of colonialism. They strengthened their economies by plundering resources of neighboring countries, leading to bigger wars and massive destruction. The recent examples are the two world wars aimed at expanding political power through hegemony.
Entering the twenty-first century we struggled to make peace with one another, by elucidating the concept of state sovereignty, censoring and banning aggression against another country. The United Nations is a useful platform where countries engage in dialogue to diffuse tensions between countries. Nevertheless big powers still eye for each others’ resources with greed, but are forced to restrain and use legal methods to acquire resources of other countries, through trade, multinational companies and outsourcing.
In the global conglomerate there is an odd mix of interplay between countries, some overt and others covert and subtle. The big and powerful like the U.S cut a belligerent figure, breaking into sporadic acts of aggression. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are typical examples of hegemony over weaker nations. Here there is again a need to heal wounds of attrition and make peace.
In today’s modern world there is rapid social transformation, stirring ripples on a global scale. Social change triggers new modes. An effort to fit into the template of modern times, to be current and suitably relevant is popular. When social change is drastic and sudden it can lead to a negative outcome. Conflicts arise that disturb peace of the society.
Post world wars and post colonialism, the world has not healed itself and tremors are felt and haunt the minds of nations. Developed nations have purged themselves after these wars through their achievements and do not live with ghosts to haunt them. They have moved forward with success and do not need to look back.
Countries mired in poverty and backwardness eye for vengeance. They continue to stoke the fires of anger and rebellion, in the hope that they will be healed, contrarily plunging themselves into deeper conflict. They look for scapegoats to vent their anger, particularly more affluent western powers, like the U.S. and U.K. Feeling trapped in failure, they seek power through juvenile aggression, of a child playing tantrums, going around in circles, a useless endless whirlpool of anger and frustration.
Religion has been resuscitated, in a desperate attempt to save the sinking ship. Consequently they have thrown into the melting pot many theories, with new interpretations to real and mythical failure, to clear the dense fog of despair. In a world with its quick changing panorama, impoverished nations are unable to compete so they hide under subterfuges, by lashing out at the strong, cutting them to size, demeaning them, igniting old conflicts.
The demon of terrorism today is unreal, a guerilla war engaged with a mythical enemy, seeking its vindication from history.There will be no winners, only losers who continue to engage in battle. With no frontiers to combat, the wars are as hollow as vanity, and as empty as bravado; fighting with invisible tools of ideology and delusions of megalomania. This is another ism like Marxism and Communism that will die its own natural death because it cannot be sustained for long. However till it lasts it is a menace to be dealt with and the casualties of war are real and horrific.
Peace with its correlated harmony is basic to humanity and its collective struggle. Old enmities are thawing, threadbare conceptions are dwindling. Russia has repaired its relations with the U.S. and the U.S. with China. The myth of Frankenstein is evaporating as the world heads towards a more equitable economic and social order. Countries are focusing on economic development as the core of prosperity in an environment of peace.
New technologies of communication have bridged gaps between nations, quickened the process of interchange. Walls have been pulled down, social barriers softened, closing the path of confrontation. Shadows of myths are dissolving in mutual interest and mutual interdependence. The global connection is bringing us together and simultaneously enhancing togetherness and distinctness. Each one asserts their own cultural and religious identities to preserve their individualism. With greater enlightenment there is tendency to emulate and evaluate others. With the dissolution of intangible barriers there is a greater need to define and delineate.
Like the inhabitants of the jungle man lives in fear of annihilation and fights for self-preservation. In modern times definitive rules have been set to achieve peace and harmony by playing the games of fair play and refraining from aggression and violence. Man will always live with a perception of danger and all its battles are fought on the threshold of self-preservation. Living at peace with oneself and with others is his only salvation and that of the mother earth to which we owe an eternal debt.