Peace In Our Lifetime

Something suddenly became crystal clear to me yesterday. What had been fuzzy and out-of-focus, in a flash became sharp and well defined. It wasn’t of Newtonian ‘apple-falling-from-tree-equals-gravity ‘ proportions – yet important for me nonetheless.

Dreaming Of World Peace

I’d just returned from an International NVC Mediation Conference and was chatting to a friend over a coffee, sharing our impressions of the Conference. I get quite animated when talking about my dream for the future of the world – the one I state as clearly as I can in the Welcome message over there on the right:

“… a world where conflicts are solved peacefully …”

Despite my passion for this vision, I found myself apologising for it as naïve, idealistic and impossible to achieve. I could even say I was whining a bit!

Why was I apologising, I asked myself? Do I really have my head in the clouds, I wondered? It was more confusing as I’d just spent the last 5 days together with 60 people from all over the world, learning how to mediate between two conflicting sides.

Then the apple fell.

I, like the majority of people, haven’t believed that universal peace is possible:

“World Peace? Wonderful idea .. but no chance of happening! At least not in my lifetime”

But why not?

Are we doomed to a future of turmoil, hurting and killing each other? Are we really unable, as a species, to rise above that and choose love and peace instead of hatred and fighting?

Believing In The Possible

If I don’t believe something is possible then how can I expect it to happen? If I’m trying to achieve a goal without the conviction that it can happen, my energy is getting diverted. It’s half-hearted.

This last week I found the belief I was missing. I started to believe that not only is peace possible, it’s actually not that difficult!

I learned a few skills and a simple process designed to help solve conflicts peacefully. They’re not hard to learn and we all have the foundations already – for example, empathy, interrupting, asking questions, making requests, keeping track of a conversation. There’s a little more to it than that – but not much.

I became clear that anyone can learn how to solve conflict peacefully.

World peace is possible.

All it needs is enough people to learn and apply these skills. We’ll have world peace when most of us learn a little – just enough to solve day to day conflicts, and a few learn deeper to deal with the more intense conflicts.

Peace In My Lifetime

Conflict is not going away – it is an important part of life. It’s stimulating and in the tension where interests meet there’s a creative possibility greater than what the individual sides bring. Conflict – inner or outer – drives us to innovate, create and is part of being alive. I love conflict!

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the resolution of conflict with love and respect.

I strongly believe the majority of the world’s population want this – they just don’t believe it’s possible. Many people get a superficial kick from violent conflict – but deep in their hearts are wishing to get their kicks in ways that are peaceful.

We all want peace in our lives but we don’t yet believe it’s possible. We’ve built a world where we are constantly receiving messages designed to keep hope away and keep us believing in violence.

  • War has been glamorised to get us to support killing in the name of the nation, religion or other cause
  • Violence has been pushed down our throats as entertainment by the mass media
  • Our culture values aggression as a sign of strength.

We’ve lost our collective hope that it can be different.

Yesterday I had also lost hope.

Today I write boldly and clearly:

Help me build a world where conflicts are solved peacefully – it is not only possible, it’s easy.

6 Responses to Peace In Our Lifetime

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