Ordinary People Want Peace

I just watched the most moving series of videos. They are messages recorded by everyday Israeli and Iranian citizens expressing their love for one another. You can see one here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sCdHlGaALc0

Last night laying in bed, I had planned to write a little article on what society is and isn’t. But after seeing something so joyous, who could write about anything else?

Peace is certainly the issue that I’m most passionate about. The advantages of the free market are a close second.

Peace is just a beautiful thing. It means that regular people are living their lives as they see fit. There is no fear, no violence, no insecurity in the physical sense. Citizens can focus on their trades, on their families, and on their callings.

In a peaceful society, knowledge can be obtained and passed along to future generations. Capital is preserved intact so that world keeps getting richer and richer. People that were once dirt poor can begin to enjoy the fruits of modernity. Peaceful technology advances at a ferocious pace. The world becomes more civil and life becomes easier and more enjoyable.

Violence puts the kibosh on  all of that. Murder, destruction, robbery, slavery, torture, detention; civilization cannot advance while humans are carrying out such acts.

Doesn’t you whole mood change just hearing those words? Torture, murder, destruction.

On the other hand you have peace, progress, love, charity.

Which do you prefer?

Its no surprise that ordinary citizens are the ones reaching out and promoting peace. It is the ordinary citizens that suffer most from a lack of peace. The powerful element in any country, the elite, is hardly affected by war. The powerful rarely send their kids to the front line to die. They live in protected areas far away from the explosions and the bloodshed.

In fact, the powerful generally benefit from a war. They get more war contracts. They’re able to tighten their grip on power. War time is is the perfect time to ignore laws. A war economy is  a command economy. A strong leader is needed to guid the war effort.

People are also needed….to act as cannon fodder. Where do these people come from? They quit their jobs working at markets, building houses, and serving their community in innumerable different ways. They leave behind their children and loved ones. They go to far flung places to shoot at other regular people who have abandoned their families as well.

The most perverse part about the whole thing is that most wars are totally unnecessary. The United States hasn’t fought a truly defensive war since World War II. There are revisionist historians who argue that even that war was provoked by Roosevelt’s policy toward Japan.

The 9/11 attackers were primarily Saudi Arabians. Yet the wars have occurred in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the Saudi royal family continues to receive massive amounts of foreign aid.

Like I said, before. Most wars are not defensive, and are therefore completely unnecessary.

Of course war isn’t the only form of violence. There is street violence that occurs in neighborhoods across the world every single day. Thugs, gangsters, rapists, thieves, and perverts wreak havoc on innocent lives. Nothing could be worse. All forms of violence ruin the world.

Peace builds the world up. Violence tears the world down.

For that reason, every civil person, every lover of humanity, every soul who is their brother’s keeper must denounce all unjust violence in the strongest terms possible. There must be no exceptions. Violence must be denounced everywhere it exists.

If the United States bombs Iran even though Iran is not threatening the Untied States, it must be denounced. If the Iranian government is crushing dissent by violently punishing free speech, it must be denounced. If Iran threatens to attack Israel, it must be denounced. If Israel offensively attacks Iran, it must be denounced. If a Palestinian shoots a rocket into a civilian neighborhood, it must be denounced. If the Israeli army mows down a bunch innocent Palestinians, it must be denounced. If a man goes crazy and kills innocent people, it must be denounced. If a bully punches an innocent kid in the face, it must be denounced.

Violence is the scourge of humanity.

Peace, on the other hand, must be promoted. It must be proclaimed. It must be put forward as something to be cherished, to be honored, and to be worshiped. Without peace, none of the things we love most could exist.

If you want to do something good for the world, you can. Be peaceful. That’s all you need to do. You don’t need to write the next great American novel. You don’t have to discover the secret of cold fusion. You don’t need to help invalids India. If you avoid all violent acts, you’ve done enough.

Take a vow of peace. Take it right now. Make a promise to yourself and to the world that you’ll be peaceful. You won’t steal. You won’t cause physical pain to others. You won’t support unjust wars. You won’t put up with thugs that intimidate peaceful individuals. You won’t stand by while one kid bullies another. You won’t put a happy face on any government actions that suppress dissent, even if its your own government that’s doing it.

If you have taken the vow, if you have made the pledge, I salute you. We are all here together in this life and we can make the world a better place. Being peaceful is the easiest and most meaningful place to start.

Hold the vow close to your heart and refuse to violate it under any circumstances. If you are passionate about peace, your passion will rub off on others. The way you live your life will influence those who know you. If we all do this for along enough and with enough zeal, a lot of the world’s problems will start to melt away.

Be strong. Be firm. Be peaceful.

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