War and Non-War

February 15, 2011

I don’t want to hear anymore about peace.  Next to the word “love” it is probably the most overused and subjective word there is.  Just as the notion of “right and wrong” is determined by societal boundaries, peace is a concept that is entirely open to self and societal interpretation. The word “peace” takes on whatever meaning we give to it.  It even varies in interpretation from language to language! Everyone wants peace for his or herself, and it is always at the cost of others. People are killed in the name of peace.  Wars are fought for peace.  There hasn’t been a war in history that hasn’t been started in the name of peace.  If there were no concepts of peace, then perhaps we wouldn’t have war.  I don’t want any part of anyone’s peace!  It’s very important that we stop using this word and replace it with objective terms such as “non-war” or “non-violence”, as these are concepts that do not change in interpretation from one culture, language, or society to the next.

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2 Responses to “War and Non-War”

  1. MAMA IVRIA said

    While I agree with everything you have said here, I would like to add a perspective from his holiness, the Dalai Lama:
    THE CONCEPT OF WAR IS VERY MUCH BASED ON THE CONCEPT OF ‘WE’ AND ‘THEM’. DESTRUCTION OF YOUR ENEMY IS ACTUALLY DESTRUCTION OF YOURSELF. WE NEED SOME METHOD TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM WITHOUT VIOLENCE. WE MUST FIRST WORK ON INTERNAL DISARMAMENT: RIDDING OURSELVES OF ALL THE NEGATIVE EMOTIONS THAT RESULT IN VIOLENCE.

    • I think you just reaffirmed my point. Internal disarmament involves a great deal of inner honesty. Once an inner honesty is built, then honesty (and later, trust) can be built between ourselves and others, But we can’t presume that a person outside of ourselves has built the same level of inner honesty in his or herself as we have, and so it becomes vital to have a common and objective language with which to dialogue. I am convinced that this is so. Words have power. They can start wars, and they can end wars.

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