Peace Education: Source of National Unity and Global Harmony
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 13 Jun 2011
The Webster Dictionary of the English Language describes peace as a “state of tranquility; freedom from war; cessation of hostilities; and harmony.” In a peaceful community, we notice a great serenity radiating in the hearts of its members. Genuine peace emanates from the inside. It is implanted in the mind and heart of every human being from the moment of birth. Our job is to pull this element out from the inside as to share it with others.
Educational Process in Perspective
Considering that the world is confronted with a multitude of problems, the development and preservation of peace requires an educational process that is meant to enrich our lives. This would enable us to use our human potential more effectively as to become a part of a harmonious global community. The source of happiness in life is harmony. The car we drive moves smoothly if the four tires have an equal amount of air. If not, we may not have a pleasant trip.
Peace education consists in enabling people to lead a happy life through the development of their human resources for constructive purposes. The traditional saying has been: “Make someone happy and you will be happy too.” The development and achievement of peace and harmony creates for us a win-win situation. That means everyone is a winner and no one a loser. A careful study of history demonstrates that in struggles and wars everyone is a loser and no one a winner. These negative elements always lead to lose-lose situation.
We all recall the outcome of World War II. The Germans lost the war and their economy collapsed and people were poor everywhere. Most of their houses were destroyed as well as most of their medical and school facilities. On the other hand, the British won the war and their economy equally collapsed and people were poor everywhere. Not only so, but in spite of winning the war, the British Empire disintegrated and collapsed!
When the various members of our body are in good shape, they all work together in harmony and we do feel comfortable and healthy as a result. When one or more of such members ceases to be in good shape, then we develop what may be termed to be a health problem of some kind. This may lead to a lot of inconvenience, especially if we start feeling pain of one kind or another. When the people of a nation work together toward the achievement of a common goal, we notice dedication and cooperation, which soon bring about harmony.
On Creating our Own Destiny
We are all familiar with the traditional saying: What goes around comes around. When we provide others with benefits of any kind, soon we will find ourselves surrounded with plenty of blessings, even much more than expected. If we were to analyze carefully all human conflicts that developed over the past 6,000 years of recorded history, we would soon discover that, quite often, the source of such problems could always be traced to some governmental sources. When the Soviet Union collapsed, many took a sigh of relief. They believed world peace was just around the corner.
In fact, many talked of the so called “peace dividend,” little they knew that the weapons industry and the military industrial complex were determined not go out of business. Hence, mafia type of groups spread all over the world to create conflicts without limit, most of which resulted in civil wars. This, they firmly believed, would justify the continued manufacture and sales of endless weapons. Some members of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have attested to this in books they wrote after they decided to leave it.
The US military would intervene in any country where the natives elected democratically a government that was not pleasing to the USA. To quote one instance, when the people of Chile elected Salvatore Allende, who promised the people free health care and free education to all citizens along with adequate residential facilities for the homeless, the USA labeled him as a socialist and vouched that he should go. And we know the rest of the story. The CIA intervened afterwards and had him killed!
We have witnessed here that for the USA, peace consists of its imposition on other countries in a way that US big business is enabled to confiscate good resources, even to the detriment of the native population. This explains why the saintly Pope John Paul II said in Mexico during the decade of the eighties: “World peace is possible and it will eventually come but only after two of the greatest evils of the 20th century are gone – communism and capitalism, because they both achieve their objectives through the exploitation of people.”
Peace Education provides us with the solution of all problems that stem mostly from political corruption. This explains the well know saying: “Money talks,” which explains the story of briberies that take place behind closed doors. We can never have national unity if our politicians continue to promote the welfare of some to the exclusion of that of others. This explains why in the sphere of character and personality we are literally creating monsters that prove to be so brutal and vicious. Our secret of success lies in our faith in righteousness and in our hope that the good we genuinely seek will eventually triumph.
Importance of Global Harmony
All people of all nations are like the various part of our body. When every single part of our body works in cooperation with the other members of the body, everything moves smoothly. We enjoy life and all those around us are bound to benefit. However, when segments of our body become sick, cease to work constructively together, then we experience the creation of surmountable problems. This explains why obstacles created in our global community may go out of control in a way that may lead to surmountable suffering unnecessarily.
Speaking on the art of happiness, some ascetical writers tell us that it does not take us much to achieve joy in our heart. If we treat others well, we will be treated likewise to our eventual joy. This is what global harmony is all about. We need to help others to the best of our ability in order to lead a life of perfect fulfillment. The focus of peace education should always be on making all people, from every walk of life and profession working together harmoniously.
One Canadian Jesuit priest once exhorted his students saying: “When you pray keep in mind that everything depends on God; without Him you are incapable of doing anything. However, when then you leave the scene of prayer and go to work, keep in mind that everything depends on you; without you the Almighty God feels powerless and cannot achieve anything unless you make constructive contributions to the best you can in your life’s mission.” In recent decades the tendency among some of the leading governments has been to prepare for war as a means to achieve peace!
This philosophy constitutes a contradiction since war always consists of violence. We do know that violence breeds violence and more violence breeds more violence. Wars do not have anything constructive to offer. They are always meant to really destroy the infrastructure of cities and kill millions of people mercilessly most of whom are women, children the elderly and the sick. The major focus of peace education should always be love and service to all people without exception. This will bring us to national unity and global harmony.
Charles Mercieca, Ph.D.: -President, International Association of Educators for World Peace, Dedicated to United Nations Goals of Peace Education, Environmental Protection, Human Rights & Disarmament.
-Professor Emeritus, Alabama A&M University.
-Hon President & Professor, SBS Swiss Business School, Zurich.
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 13 Jun 2011.
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