When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invinsible but in the end, they always fall.
All human endeavors must have as their point of origin a concern for people’s welfare and a desire to contribute to human happiness. Otherwise, the human race will ultimately just continue to stumble aimlessly, from darkness into darkness.If that happens, what use to us then are economics, politics and culture? Everything depends on people, on their character, the development of their humanity.
Globalisation and the advantages of world peace
World Peace is Possible sees opportunities for a world without wars through globalisation. World economies are so interwoven and have become such a coherent whole that there is more and more awareness that large armed conflicts have harmful repercussions for the prosperity of the individual powers. There is mounting awareness that negotiations and collaboration produce more benefits that waging war. Increasingly more people realize that it is now possible to share the planet with each other without armed conflict. This change in our thinking can be accelerated further, if more and more people dare to believe that negotiation, collaboration, a more honest distribution of food and water among other things, and rational solutions for world problems are possible.
To seriously consider the opinion that world peace is possible
Our evolution is riddled with war and violence followed by periods of peace. That means that many of us still retain the conviction that a prolonged world peace is impossible. Even though war has always been abhorrent, it paid off in advantages for the victors: new territory, power, riches and security for their own people. Prosperity meant wisely utilizing the chances for peace, alternating with wisely waging war to defend it and to obtain riches and power. However the world situation is changing dramatically and it is therefore necessary to challenge the belief that a long-term or permanent world peace would be impossible. A world without war is more than a beautiful thought by a few idealists. There are real chances for humanity to realize this. Therefore the thought that world peace is possible can be seriously considered.
Internet and ‘people power’
World Peace is Possible sees opportunities for world peace though the increasing strength of ‘people power’ combined with the possibilities provided by the internet. Contact with other people wherever they are in the world has become self evident due to the internet. Media, internet and increased mobility ensure the involvement of people wherever they are in the world. The power of the people who call for a just and honest world is steadily increasing. The heroes of today are no longer conquerors like Alexander the Great or Napoleon, but peace makers like Mandela and Kofi Anan.
The efforts of organizations focused on an honest and just co-existence together
All over the world in countless ways institutions are providing their contribution directly and indirectly to world peace. The UN and the peace movement are very closely involved in this. Other organisations are contributing to world peace by focusing on the fight against poverty, observance of human rights, fairer distribution of prosperity, a liveable environment, equal opportunities for men and women, etc.
Continue the trend from more to fewer armed conflicts
The Ploughshares Monitor (see illustration at the top of this page) shows a declining trend in the number of armed conflicts and the number of countries that participated in these during the period 1987 to 2005. In spite of all the serious conflicts in the world this shows that all the efforts to reduce armed conflict, to end and take preventative action, are succeeding. Although this says nothing about developments in the long term and even if a more violent period should develop, this trend still shows that a reduction in the number of armed conflicts in the world is a possibility.
World peace, an opportunity and also a necessity
Given that there are opportunities to achieve a world without wars, and that ample intelligence, money, technology and communication opportunities are available for this and world peace is so important for the wellbeing and continued existence of humanity, then the message World Peace is Possible is very urgent. It is essential that more and more people aim to create a world where we can live together as a unified human race in peace and prosperity.
Our world continues to be threatened by more than 20,000 nuclear warheads the capacity to kill or grievously injure all people living on Earth, and to destroy the global ecosystem many times over. We are impelled to ask what it is, exactly, that is being protected by this unimaginable destructive capacity. If even some small portion of the population of one of the combatant nations were to survive, what would await them could hardly be termed a future.
Each of us, no matter how weak or ineffectual we may feel ourselves to be, must build deep within our hearts a stronghold for peace, one that will be capable of withstanding and in the end silencing the incessant calls to war. This is the only way humanity’s tragic predilection for violence can be reformed and its energies channeled in new directions.
Sincerity is the key to transforming distrust into trust, hostility into understanding, and hatred into compassion. Friendship and trust are indispensible to true peace, and they cannot be cultivated strategically.
Hell is by no means a figment of the imagination. It exists in our very lives, right here on earth. Hell, indeed, is the agony we suffer during life, and there is no man-made hell worse than war.
Nuclear weapons, which jeopardize the very existence of humanity, epitomize the tragic truth that our development as human beings has not kept pace with our scientific advances.
For both victor and vanquished, war leaves only a sense of endless futility.
To achieve world peace to create a world in which war ceases to break out seems impossible because of the sheer number of people who haven't yet mastered themselves, who haven't tamed their ambition to raise themselves up at the expense of others, and who haven't learned to start from today onward, letting past wrongs committed by both sides remain in the past. In short, it seems an impossible dream because we're in desperately short supply of human beings who are experts at living.
An expert at living isn't a person who never experiences greed, anger, or stupidity but rather one who remains in firm control of those negative parts (which can never be entirely eliminated), who's able to surmount his or her darkest negativity, and displays a peerless ability to resolve conflict peacefully. What generates this expert ability to resolve conflict? Wisdom and joy. Wise people are happy people, and happy people are wise. If enough people in the world's population became happy and wise, violence would be used far less often to solve conflict. If this pool of experts at living became large enough, we'd start seeing some of our leaders being picked from among them. And if enough leaders were experts at living, war, too, would be used far less often to solve conflict and further the interests of nations.
I fully recognize that as long as there remain inequities between classes, as long as people feel they have little hope for a good life and remain unable to tolerate others believing differently than they do about important issues, violence and war will continue. Which means the real path to world peace can't be found in the passing of more laws, in diplomacy, or even in war itself. It can only be found in the actions individual human beings take to reform the tenets they hold in their hearts in order to become experts at living. Some argue human nature being what it is precludes the possibility of world peace, but I would counter that human nature doesn't need to change it only needs to be managed. Haven't countless numbers of us already learned to do this every day, denying our baser impulses in order to contribute to solutions instead of problems?
As Gandhi famously said, by becoming the change we wish to see. Strive to become an expert at living. Be good to those around you in concrete ways. Create an island of peace in your own life. If you do, it will spread. If enough of us do this, our islands will meet, ceasing to be islands and becoming whole continents. World peace exists literally in the actions each one of takes in our own lives.
The most significant obstacle to achieving world peace isn't the extraordinary difficulty involved in becoming a genuine expert at living, though. It's that those most in need of reforming the tenets they hold in their hearts, who most need training in how to be an expert at living, are those least interested in it, a point well articulated.
The only real lever we have to pull with such people is their desire to become happy. We must convince them to follow our lead by becoming so happy ourselves so ridiculously, genuinely happy that they decide on their own they want to be like us, that they want what we have. And then we have to show them how to get it. Good ideas are our weapons. When people come to deeply believe in notions that promote peace, peace will follow like a shadow follows the body.
To say this strategy is long-term would be an understatement. But all other solutions seem to me even less likely to succeed than the one I'm proposing here. You may think me as hopelessly naive as my younger self who thought war had already been eliminated for continuing to hope that widespread, lasting peace is possible, but as John Lennon famously sang, I'm not the only one. The ultimate dream of every Nichiren Buddhist is the accomplishment of world peace by the achievement of individual happiness.
We need to summon the courage to even voice a commitment to the goal. We can't worry about if it can be done at all, or how long it might take. It can be done. It will take a long, long time. But the argument that it can't be done and therefore shouldn't be attempted is the argument of cowards. If there weren't people throughout our history who refused to listen to that logic, we'd all still be living in caves.