The past years saw a series of devastating natural disasters, continuing terror attacks and conflict, and the threat of virulent new diseases. These issues affect every one of us with no respect for political or geographical borders; they are perhaps an integral aspect of globalisation. But the most effective search for solutions to these global problems starts with a focus on our immediate, individual realities.
Peace is not simply the absence of war. A peaceful society is one in which everyone can maximise their potential and build fulfilling lives free from threats to their dignity. Rallying public opinion to the cause of peace and disarmament requires people from all walks of life. There needs to be a revolutionary transformation in the way people think about peace.
Humanity has now entered a new era where these assumptions require an overhaul. The major threats to our security now emanate from issues that cannot be dealt with by weaponry, namely global warming, migration, cyber attack and the rich–poor gap. Our security now depends on our ability to cooperate with nations who might previously have been our enemies. We now know enough about preventing armed violence to avoid the catastrophic consequences of recent wars. Attempts to stop war from the top down often fail because of the mindsets – fear, aggression, competition, greed – shared by most of those leaders filtered to the top by our current systems. One of the best ways to overcome the force of these attitudes and emotions is by systematically building trust through dialogue.
Globalization, paradoxically, may one day help put an end to war. In the short term, of course, the rapid expansion of global trade — unregulated and ungoverned by international institutions — has intensified ethnic and religious conflict, widened the gulf between rich and poor, and sparked “resource wars” to control oil and water.
A transformation in the inner life of a single individual can spur similar changes in others. As this extends into society, it generates a powerful vortex for peace that can steadily shape the direction of events. The collective impact of ‘ordinary citizens’, awakened and empowered, can propel humankind towards the goals of genuine disarmament and a flourishing culture of peace.
Prevention of Wars:-
- The keys to successful prevention of war are respect, speed of reaction, and developing an understanding of how power works.
- The cycle of violence starts with an atrocity, causing terror and trauma, followed by grief and then anger, which leads to the drive for retaliation and revenge, causing an escalation of atrocities. Thus the cycle of violence can continue over generations and even centuries.
- The cycle can be broken by tried and tested methods of conflict transformation, including consultation with religious leaders, bridge building, setting up truth and reconciliation commissions, training mediators, freeing child soldiers, trauma counselling and strengthening the rule of law.
- Enable women to help make peace. Women are shown to be the most effective and tenacious peace builders. However, more than 90% of negotiators and those in policymaking positions on peace and conflict are male, meaning that the suffering and trauma of women and children in war are not taken into account at the peace table.
What becomes evident in this work is that we are living through an age of profound transformation in the human condition. The human-made issues we face in this turbulent age are challenging our human capacity to evolve. We have the opportunity now, as never before, to develop our consciousness – and therefore our way of treating one another – to a new level.