How to Make Peace
By David Lucky
Mark Twain once said “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Much the same can be said about world peace. While many people are for world peace, and a lot of lip service is given to it, there isn’t a comprehensive plan about how to achieve it. The mere act of saying that one is for world peace, simply, is not what is going to bring it about. It seems that many people think world peace is a natural state of affairs, and if we do nothing, then peace shall eventually take its due course. Unfortunately, thousands of years of history prove otherwise.
On the other hand, there is no reason to be pessimistic. A good plan and concerted effort may actually help to make the world more peaceful. Regardless of one’s position on the Iraq war, there needs to be a concerted effort at education, information dispersion, and long term peace efforts. Although some defensive measures do need to be taken from time to time, there doesn’t seem to be enough effort toward explaining to the terrorists the errors of their ways. The only message the terrorists are receiving is that of force. And while using some force may be worthwhile, we need to combat them philosophically at the same time. Back in 1999, two years before the 9/11 terrorist acts, I wrote an article in this publication.
In the article, I recommended utilizing international peace debates as a means to diffusing tension in the world, and possibly slowing down terrorism. Unfortunately the call was not headed, and two years later we experienced the largest terrorist acts this country has ever seen. Who knows, if peace debates were implemented, they may have created enough positive energy to diffuse those acts of violence.
Now, at this stage we can pretend that it never happened, and/or hope that it will never happen again. Some fringe groups have even gone so far as to fool themselves into thinking that the terrorists had nothing to do with it. However, these types of denial of reality will only make it easier for terrorist acts to happen again. Sticking one’s head in the sand and pretending it didn’t happen is certainly not going to prevent it from happening in the future; real, concrete steps need to take place.
Here are my recommendations:
1. Start with the international peace debates. This is a system whereby various opinions and views will be heard by all sides. By getting this all out in the open, and allowing each side to voice their perspectives, we can start debunking faulty theories, and defusing the seeds of violence, which can lead to terrorism.
For example, we are constantly hearing about new threats of a Jihad, or a new Holy war. The international peace debates would be a great place to explain to people the errors of their ways. It could be pointed out that the word “jihad” is completely mis-used. The original concept of a jihad had to do with self-improvement. Therefore the idea of a jihad as a way of threatening violence against other innocent people is inherently incorrect and faulty. So, threatening a jihad, then becomes nothing more than threatening to improve one’s own internal struggle against oneself. It is almost the same concept as threatening a holy war. Since wars are not holy, there is no such thing as a “holy war.” The whole concept is a complete oxymoron. These theories and many others can all be completely exposed, and refuted, through the international peace debates. Although there is a lot more to these debates (along with debater teams, and rules, etc.), this is the basics.
2. Another possibility to help sustain our planet is the creation of an “International Peace Channel.” Today there are hundreds of television stations, which focus on a variety of subjects. We have TV channels for sports, news, comedy, sci-fi, for drama, for history, and on, and on, and on. Now, why not have a TV station for international peace? The peace channel could host the international peace debates, as well as various peace speakers and problem solvers throughout the world. It would continue to bring greater awareness and education to people in all countries. Over time, this would all help to create a more peaceful and educated world.
One of the rules that I would impose on the peace channel though, is this: You are free to criticize any situation in the world. However, you MUST have a purported better solution. A speaker is not allowed to criticize anything at all, unless he can bring forth a better possible solution. For example, let’s suppose that a speaker does not like the war in Iraq. Well that’s all great, and the speaker is free to make his/her case. However, at the end of the speech, he must put forth a better and comprehensive plan. He cannot merely say “I don’t like what’s happening,” without offering an alternative.
Complaints without real positive solutions at the end are merely just whining complaints, that don’t solve anything. This is also true for many politicians that choose to run on a negative campaign. Essentially, if the world is going to achieve real peace, then we need real solutions – and not just mindless complaints. I have offered some solutions, and hopefully others will too.
David Lucky is a global business consultant, international chess master, author and short-films producer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org