Chaotic World Essays

Global Peace In A Chaotic World?

War it is such a vast word in our society today and seems to be everywhere. What is war? How do we define it in a technologically advanced society? Traditionally war involved armies fighting one another in a battle to overtake or annihilate the enemy. The concept is still the same although war is no longer contained to battlefields or between countries. These days we have civil wars within countries; economic war, race wars, religious wars, political wars and even class wars. Furthermore, the invention of nuclear weapons greatly increases tension and instability on a global level. Despite the current state of the world, most people would indicate the desire for world peace although, we have been unable to stop wars or obtain global peace. With the vast majority in favor of global peace, it should be easy to achieve although the turbulence in the world today demonstrates the opposite. Most scholars would agree that war regardless of the kind; is ultimately a struggle for power. This positions man in a perpetual state of war maybe that is what Mark Twain thought when he wrote, “Peace by persuasion has a pleasant sound, but I think we should not be able to work it. We should have to tame the human race first, and history seems to show that that cannot be done.” This begs the question is peace possible in this chaotic world full of wars and rumors of wars that threaten the very existence of mankind? By examining the causes of war, the lack of a workable international system and the obstacles that prevent a viable international system to promote peace will show that despite the desire for global peace it is unattainable.
The major reasons that nations and men go to war alone shows the improbability of obtaining global peace. Scholars have debated and published works on the reasons for war; considering the writing of Hobbes, Mead, Bremer,Kaufman and Clausewitz I found similar views and themes that are inductive to war. Take for example the Israel and Palestinian conflict and war that has raged from the beginning of the establishment of the Nation of Israel. Reason relating to this conflict is recognizable in the writings of the above-mentioned authors. Thomas Hobbes believes one causes of war is competition (Hobbes, 1996). The competition for control of the land of the West Banks the Gaza and several other areas does seem to be a major factor in the conflict that is prevalent to this day. The war over this area started and continues to intensify as Mead points out due impart to societal development (Mead, 1996). One form of advancement is securing a country including boarders and a legitimate government. Palestine is not a recognized country and has no boarders. The people of Palestine are trying to carve out a nation for themselves unfortunately; it includes part of the nation of Israel. Another instigator of war according to Dangerous Dyads by Stuart A. Bremer is “militarization or defense that makes people expect war”...

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I woke up this morning and had this blog post ready to publish. As I turned on the television, I watched the news of the Charleston church shooting unfold. Saddened and sickened to hear of the horrific event that took place, I looked at the title and subtitle of this blog. I thought, "How do we find peace and live it when so many innocents are the victims?" "How do we keep anger from setting into our lives because of the unjust actions of others?" Now more than ever we need to find peace in our nation—in our world. We need to help our troubled youth find peace amidst chaos.

Across the nation we have seen wide-spread hate crimes, violent protests, terrorist plots being carried out, stories of youth being severely bullied at school and online, and gang brawls resulting in numerous deaths. There isn't a day that passes that some senseless act of violence doesn't take the headline over a random act of kindness. Why does violence penetrate the media far more than kindness and peace? Why do we gravitate toward negative stories? Is it because they are more intriguing or entertaining?

By definition peace is a state in which there is no war or fighting: a state in which harmony exists between different groups. It is also characterized as a time of tranquility and calmness. Unfortunately, peace often doesn't get the attention it's worthy of and is frequently overlooked. Sure, you can find the universal symbol on shirts, bedspreads, notebooks, etc., but how do we extend beyond the scope of décor and apply the true meaning of peace to our lives? What if...we turned our attention to more positive and uplifting events? What if… we focused on peace rather than violence, harm and hurt? With a world full of what often feels like chaos, how can we teach our youth to live in peace?

Perhaps the idea of peace is not as attention grabbing as holding someone at gun point? But what about the good news? What about the anti-bullying programs and campaigns that fill almost every school in the nation? (And as research is showing… it’s working!) The number of reported bullying incidents is decreasing! Now that's news to celebrate! On another note, thanks to pro-education and awareness campaigns, drug use amongst teens is on a downward trend. These are just two examples, amidst thousands, of good news. So clearly peace-promoting and pro-education efforts are working.

There are some wonderful organizations that use their platform to promote peace, tolerance and unity amongst youth. An example of one such organization is Teaching Tolerance. The mission behind this organization is to reduce prejudice, improve intergroup relations and support equitable school experiences for our nation's children. Again, this is just one example of an organization that has taken its message national. Their website provides a wealth of activities, resources and organized events that promote peace to youth both individually and collectively.

On a smaller scale, many schools and communities engage in peace promoting activities. Schools like John Hancock Elementary School in Philadelphia, PA, whose school psychologist Cliff Kraus orchestrated a week-long initiative devoted to promoting peace at his school. The campaign entitled "Peace Week" actively engaged students, staff and faculty, administration, parents, and community leaders on a united platform of celebrating peace. All week, students completed projects, activities, role played, and signed peace pledges. Each activity was designed to promote peace, acceptance and tolerance. Not only did Mr. Kraus coordinate the event at his school, but he also reached out to other states and countries to rally their participation in coordinating a Peace Week at their school. 

From local to national to international… there are many ways to celebrate and teach youth about peace.

At Home:

Define peace as a family. What is it? What does it look like in your home? How do you put it in place at home and in the community?

At School:

Define peace as a school. Like John Hancock Elementary School how can you promote peace at your school? From individual lesson plans to school-wide events, all students can benefit in making their community a more peaceful place to live.

In the Community/Nation/World:

Get involved, participate in peace promoting events, better yet coordinate one!

In summary, Louis Armstrong says it best in his classic "What a Wonderful World." Even when things around us feel dismal and evil, we still live in a wonderful world.

Peace is more than a symbol. It is an action.

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