World Peace - Is It Possible Palo Alto Issues, posted by World Citizen, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2013 at 6:38 pm
World Peace? You may declare, why bring this up?
The answer is, world peace is everybody's responsibility. You may say, isn't that somebody else's responsibility? I submit, we are all part of that elusive term, somebody else.
I would like to request that you consider,
1) Devoting at least one hour a year, or more, to this worthwhile goal, and
2) Spend at least 45c, or more, on postage to do something constructive in achieving this goal.
Why now? One reason may be that this time of year one hear's a lot about the historically and often times spoken goal of "Peace on Earth, Goodwill Toward Men". This sounds wonderful, but as leaders of our community the question becomes, "what can I do about it?"
Embracing the concept, "Think Globally, Act Locally", I appeal to you to be a part of the solution.
Several years ago, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan spoke to the General Assembly about this very concept. Amongst his comments were these quotes, as follows:
"We try to picture all governments listening to -- and acting on -- the will of the people."
"We do this because progress in our world does not happen without someone first having a vision or a dream."
"On this International Day of Peace, let us dare to imagine a world free of conflict and violence. And let us seize the opportunity for peace to take hold, day by day, year by year, until every day is a day of peace."
Yes, you have a lot on your plate already. Those activities are important. I'm not asking not to make those activities a priority. Instead, what I am asking for is for you to take a moment to lend a hand, in this special effort.
Humanity depends on it.
How you go about it, when you decide to do it, can be left to your best judgement. I do hope before year 2013 ends, you find the time and a way, large or small, to do your part to support the efforts of others in one way or another. If you do, many will think the world of you.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2013 at 9:01 pm
Well, we have about 1/4 of the world who believes that world peace must be the peace of Allah ... so that might be part of the problem. Another 1/4 seeking to expand their empire by force into Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and by oppressing their people.
Maybe if we could get some kind of cell-phone democracy up and running we might see what the world has to work with and whether a democratic peace is workable or not. Not sure what we do if it is not.
Posted by Chris Zaharias, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm
World peace is, indeed, at hand, but its coming has nothing to do with nice feelings and conscious efforts. Rather, it's the natural by-product of humans taking up agriculture 10-15,000 years ago, and better nutrition leading to higher IQ and a host of other violence-diminishing effects.
Voltaire mocked optimism in Candide, but when he made the point that we must 'cultivate our garden' rather than blindly trust that we live in the best of all possible worlds, he didn't know that he was being incredibly ironic. For it is, in fact, mankind cultivating the garden that has over the course of thousands of years led us to what, in terms of violent & death from conflict, is the best of all possible worlds.
Posted by bru, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jan 4, 2013 at 1:14 pm bru is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Chris, have you ever read either of two books by the anthropologist Jared Diamond, the oddly and poorly titled "The Third Chimpanzee", and is new book "The World Until Yesterday"?
Diamond makes the surprising point is made about how humans were healthier, and lived longer with less stress as hunter-gatherers than in farming communities.
Diets were more varied and more nutritious in the hunter-gatherer communities than in agricultural communities, and social structures were simpler and less stressful, less violent although violence is always a factor when it comes to humans.
Farming had human being substituting grain for the varied diet of the hunter-gathers. The fossil record shows a smaller skeletons and more evidence of disease in the bones of those in agricultural civilizations that in hunter-gatherers. I was surprised by this last year while reading "The Third Chimpanzee". Hunter gathers also surprisingly also had more leisure.
It is population conflicts that probably drove most of this and I am not suggesting that humans should return to hunter-gathering ... even if it was possible, but there is much we can learn about how we could live by looking at the past and not taking what we have been told as gospel.
As Bill Joy pointed out, first that I can recall in the public space, that intelligence and technology is a dual-edged sword and can work for and against civilization. The accessibility to information and technology can enable terrorist destruction as well as progress, or the use of technology that may not be appropriate or constructive.
So in cultivating our gardens we have inadvertantly build and travelled the path that leads to over-population, scarcity, hierarchical societies and war among elites. Maybe if we can understand the ironies and discuss them widely and openly we might learn, but as has been the case all through human history the general trend has been for elites to try to maintain control of information and weapons.
Posted by World Citizen, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Feb 1, 2013 at 11:36 am
Is World Peace achievable? Or in the alternative, are the consequences of continued confrontation, violence, war, strife, hatred, terrorism, slaughter and the toll on human life acceptable? I submit, that trying to turn this tide, making the effort and contributing to the solution is a far better choice.
There are many ways in which one can consider enhancing and contributing to the important topic of World Peace. Below are three programs that a citizen can consider, as follows:
1) Sister City program
Numerous cities, counties and individuals across the U.S., and especially in California, have committed to joining the Sister Cities International program, which President Dwight D. Eisenhower started in 1956. Since that time, nearly 600 communities in the U.S. have relationships in nearly 2,000 communities located in 136 countries on 6 continents. For more information, refer to their website, www.sister-cities.org.
2) Peace One Day program
Started in 1999, this non-profit organization establishes Sept. 21st each year as a day of non-violence, international unity and cooperation. In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution supporting this effort, which now involves countries around the world, allowing for medical staff to enter hostile areas for medical assistance and a focal point for world peace. The U.S. Senate passed a similar Resolution on Sept. 17, 2009. For more information, refer to their website, www.peaceoneday.org.
3) Mayors For Peace
You don't have to be a mayor to become a member. Established in 1982, this international organization is dedicated for the promotion of peace. It was nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize. This organization promotes a way to transcend national borders and work together to press for nuclear abolition. As of January 1, 2013, membership stood at 5,524 cities in 156 countries and regions. For more information, refer to their website, www.mayorsforpeace.org.
As with many solutions to challenging problems, numbers count.
To personalize this email, allow me to share that I believe in community service. Dedicated to the public good by leaving a legacy of efforts and accomplishments is a very satisfying way of life. No amount of compensation or recognition can surpass the personal satisfaction of giving back to the community.