We are in a new year under the Gregorian calendar. A new start for those making resolutions to bring about a new change or follow through on self promises they’ve vowed to themselves in the previous year. Let’s suppose then, people resolved to bring about peace. I know every year people make a resolution to lose weight, or do something for the family, check off something off their bucket list (I think I should have stayed away from that all too popular phrase, will probably be the new toast for two aught ten.) But, what if people truly, this time, resolved to have peace, what would be the possibilities?
Often I listen to internet radio, mostly tuning into the English speaking Caribbean, but venturing also over into Ghana, Nigeria and Britain. I love hearing the different accents and the occasional caller from the States, or someone whose parents were expats from one of these countries, and after growing up in the U.S. for the first 25 years of their lives, they have returned with their parents to their home country speaking in the accents of the States, or from somewhere in the English speaking Caribbean. Call me strange but I get a Kick out of hearing this.
But, most clearly, in no matter what flavor of accent I hear, I most often hear recurring themes concerning life, politics, religion/spirituality or labor that are quite like and similar to life, politics, religion/spirituality and labor in the lives of people in the U.S. I’m actually convinced that we are more alike than most will admit.
So, I began to imagine the possibilities of people truly committing to a resolution of peace. Understanding that peace is not merely the absence of violence but, creating conditions within one’s self that breed peace. Truly, there may be no real peace without justice, but the beginning stages can begin in each person, home, community and expanding outward and beyond. I guess in a certain way this would be a revolution of sorts.
Revolution is not without bloodshed, and peace, real peace, cannot be achieved without violence since power, or those in power will not concede to peace easily and without a fight. We have been brainwashed into believing those that have been voted into or put into positions of authority over our lives are seeking the best for us when they’re primarily seeking to maintain their positions, fatten their pockets and by some political byproduct, we the people receive some semblance of security and protection.
War and violence are profitable. Not necessarily for the everyday person, but for businesses and governments down to local governments. Are we so blinded to believe local municipalities cannot eradicate gangs and the violence associated with them? Do we believe there could have been no solution to Iraq and Afghanistan other than war and violence? Probably, and unfortunately we do believe and we are blind.
Maybe gaining real peace word wide will be a long way off. And, maybe to attain peace will bring violence by those in power fighting to maintain their station. And, maybe, just maybe, through the violence wrought by the powerful, we the people will learn what it takes to have peace and learn what real peace is. As I said before, peace is not just the absence of violence. Peace is really a way of maintaining stasis within ourselves and between ourselves. Just finding and maintaining that balance. All most of us really want and need is real balance in our lives.