Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward All People
Posted on 30 January 2015
I am a peace activist. I strongly believe in the value of peace, and taking action to ensure we all can live in harmony with ourselves, one another, and the planet.
For a long time I felt that most governmental and/or economic systems can work provided the people within those systems are caring individuals who consider the welfare of others. With time and experience I no longer see things in this way. People of goodwill can do a lot wherever they may find themselves. Nevertheless, each political/economic system comes with its own values and those values may or may not embrace the importance of each unique individual and the environment we all need to flourish. Some systems are destructive of our sense of self, our relationship with one another, and our relationship with the Earth.
Our planet is in crisis and the issues of poverty and environmental damage are closely intertwined. Most solutions people are putting forward are the same ones we have tried again and again without longterm success. This is because they are palliative and/or superficial.
We currently live in a society where we have to trade in order to survive. We have to sell our goods, our time, our skills, ourselves in order to be assured of a roof overhead and food on the table. Woe to those who are too young, too old, too busy with children, or are facing any sort of difficulty keeping them from trading.
We have a society that values status. So many people actively seek to have more and actively seek to ensure others have less. This puts us in a position whereby we are all actively participating in buying and selling more than anyone needs. We are actively participating in keeping someone somewhere poor.
If we raise the minimum wage in our own country, companies will find a country where people can be paid less, in order to make cheap goods to sell the people in their own country who no longer have jobs and can no longer afford well made products. That company needs poor people to function in this way. They may justify their methods by saying they are bringing more wealth to the poor elsewhere but the instant foreign workers start asking for a fair wage, you haven’t cured anything, you’ve merely created a situation where the problem gets passed on again.
Without a financial safety net people are going to lie, exaggerate, manipulate, and push to make sure they are getting enough to eat. They will tolerate abhorrent behaviour, because they are frightened and desperate. We need to separate work from the getting of a wage. We need people to participate in their society without the need for coercion. We need people to feel secure enough that they are capable of making fair, sensible, and responsible decisions, ones that place the welfare of this planet above personal concerns.
We must make a consumerist society a thing of the past.
We need to focus on raising people’s awareness concerning the issues and their solutions. We need to live those solutions in our own lives, modelling the change we are seeking, so people do not fear the change. If we seek peace and harmony within the world, then we must move forward in peace, harmony, and the strength of compassion.
Peace is not simply a cessation of violence. Peace is living in a world where we need not fear for our existence, where we need not fear our thoughts or their expression, and where we need not fear one another.
Peace and kindness,