It came to me that reform should begin at home, and since that day I have not had time to remake the world.
– Will Durant, historian (1885-1981)
We might wonder why a historian would be qualified to remake the world anyway. On the other hand, who would be qualified? A Nobel Prize winner? An astrophysicist? Your family doctor? My family doctor? (Oh, no! Don’t go there.)
No one person has the qualifications to remake the world. Which works out well because it’s physically impossible for one person to do the job anyway. Hitler tried, as did Genghis Khan, Alexander The Great and a few others, but not one of them had a clue about the people and cultures of most parts of the world.
How would we remake the world, even if a huge number of us had the ability? Probably enough of us want world peace that peace is where the greatest number of us could collectively agree to begin.
Yet today’s world is far more peaceful than our planet has been for millennia. It may not seem that way because of the news reports we receive daily telling us about trouble spots, stating statistics about numbers killed and reporting on discomfort in various countries with how well the “war on terror” is going.
Peaceful cultures have existed in the past. But not many. And they existed because they had enormous and powerful armies that made fighting them unwise. Every peaceful culture in the past lived under threat from warring neighbours. Every peaceful society had a limited lifespan.
Until today. Among the regions most often at war in the past was Europe. Today almost every country in Europe, and some beyond, belong to the European Union, a cumbersome and fractured body to be sure, but one where no member seriously considers attacking a neighbouring country.
We see many wars in Africa, but far fewer than in the past. Same in South America. Even Asia, the largest and most populous continent, is showing strong signs of being more peaceful than ever before.
We might take happiness as a second world objective. After all, if more people were happy less would be unhappy and peace should be easier to achieve.
Yet no one definition of happiness satisfies everyone. For some, happiness means wealth. For others, having someone to love and someone to love them. For many people in the world, happiness is having enough to eat that day, or children knowing what to do because both parents have died of AIDS, or adults desperate to discover how to earn a living when no jobs are available.
So long as we have people whose lives are at risk for any reason, we will not be able to have happiness on a large scale. Those who feel at risk or who really are at risk will menace those who want to be happy like the plague. This fact of human nature dates back to our primitive past. People at risk can’t support peace and can’t achieve happiness.
Peace, it seems, must be the prime objective of a great number of people if the world is to improve in the way that most of us want.
How can we achieve peace? There is only one way. I am doing it. I am communicating to you my desire for peace in my home, in my community, in my country and in the world.
Peace is important to me. I want it to be important to you too. Then you will talk with others about it and they will spread the word to still more. Word of mouth is the only way that the world can change. The only way possible.
You are the key to the change.
Talk about peace. Teach it to children as one of the more important lessons they can ever learn from you.
As education improved around the world in the 20th century, the planet became more peaceful. Teachers taught about peace. Everywhere. In all sorts of contexts.
More people are talking about peace today than ever before in history. More people consider world peace a goal today than even would have considered it a possibility in the past.
Let’s get on with it. Spread the word. Send this article to people you know. Or direct them to the web page where you are reading it. My web site will tell you even more.
Talk about it over coffee or tea tomorrow. And the tomorrows after that.
It’s not hard. Lots of people want to know that world peace is possible. You will have a willing audience wherever you talk about it.
Now get going.
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book that provides the method for implementing a plan for peace (when you’re ready for it). You should find out about how easy and cheap it will be now.
Learn more at http://billallin.com