My paper is about how we can have a peaceful society in the near future. I made the connection with world peace and personal understanding. I realized that maybe in our world peace is attainable, but the one the major things that has stopped that would be the lack of communication that we have between each other. We don’t try and understand where other people are coming form that are different from us. It’s so easy to just dismiss people’s actions that we did not like as them being evil people that should be condemned, it’s so much more difficult talk it out. So how do we get to that point. So that is what I am going to focus on.
Philosopher, Albert Camus, said "Peace is [a] battle worth waging." Peace has always been one of the priorities for the world. So the problem does not lie with whether or not the people want peace, of course people want peace, the issue is how people want to go about it, and what is stopping us from achieving this goal. So to figure this out, the root of the problem must be found, and then addressed. Only then, can the possibility of a peaceful society happen in the near future, and when it comes down to it, the only thing that is keeping this world from having a peaceful society is the lack of effective communication, understanding, and fear.
When it comes to almost any problem there is always a peaceful approach, as well as a violent approach. Both can definitely get the point across, and solve the problem. However, when it comes to the violent approach, a lot of lives are lost in senseless violence. Now, if it is true that the peaceful approach can still solve the same problems that the violent approach can, then it seem more logical to go with that option. However, when it comes to the peaceful approach, it relies heavily on a characteristic that many nations tend to lack, which is effective communication. With this, it’s a lot harder to deal with. When coming to a compromise, depending upon your motive, there will be times where negotiation is not something that is really desired. There is also the fact that nations might seem weak for doing this, and no one wants that type of image. Tim O’brien stated in “The things They Carried”, “It was my view then, and still is, that you don't make war without knowing why. Knowledge of course, is always imperfect, but it seemed to me that when a nation goes to war it must have reasonable confidence in the justice and imperative of its cause. You can't fix your mistakes. Once people are dead, you can't make them undead.”(41). He has a point though. When it comes to war, it’s less complicated, even though it is deadlier, but at least you stand a with getting most of what you want with little to no compromise at all. In the novel “The Sorrow of War”, Bao Ninh said it best when he stated that “The ones who loved war were not the young men but the others like the politicians, middle-aged men with fat bellies and short legs. Not the ordinary people" (75).
Another difficulty the comes with the path of peace is that it forces people to try and understand one another. That is one of the hardest things to do sometimes, especially if one believes that they are just dealing with an evil group or individual. In this society, when someone or some group is considered evil, nobody real cares to try and understand them. They’re bad people, they have done harm to others, so it doesn't make sense to show them any sympathy or give them any excuse for their actions. In Philip Zimbardo’s Ted Talk: The Psychology of Evil, he brings up a good point by saying "Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing more difficult than understanding him," Dostoevsky. Understanding is not excusing. Psychology is not excuse-ology.” What is so important about this quote, is that it shows people that getting to see where these types of people are coming from, gives us an insight into human nature. It also shows us that evil is more complex, it is something that is within us all. Philip later quotes in his talk that “Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn says, "The line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." That means that line is not out there. That's a decision that you have to make, a personal thing.” Once we start to think of it that way, then the process of understanding one another is not only clearer, but it becomes a necessity. Once there is understanding, better communication is what follows, and the peaceful approach becomes more realistic.
Now, lack of communication, and understanding are issues that keep us from having a peaceful society, but there lies another problem that is not really talked about, but is also a major problem that is stopping us from having a peaceful society is. Fear. When it comes to maintaining a peaceful society, there has to be a level of trust involved where both side do not expect the other to take advantage or betray them. But, that is so hard. For instance, Martin Luther King brought an example with his vietnam speech stating that ““We have destroyed their two most cherished institutions: the family and the village. We have destroyed their land and their crops. We have cooperated in the crushing of the nation’s only noncommunist revolutionary political force, the unified Buddhist Church….After 1954 they watched us conspire with Diem to prevent elections which could have surely brought Ho Chi Minh to power over a unified Vietnam, and they realized they had been betrayed again. When we ask why they do not leap to negotiate, these things must be considered.” We live in a society that promotes self gain and power above anything else, so it’s scary to have that kind of trust when you grew up believing everyone's looking out for themselves most of the time.
There is a lot of improvement that needs to be done in order for a peaceful to be established in the near future. One way we can start, though, is by staring each other stories with one another. Again, Dr. King says "Can I threaten them with death or must I not share with them my life?....I think of them, too, because it is clear to me that there will be no meaningful solution there until some attempt is made to know them and hear their broken cries.” Telling your story or some else’s, gives power to understanding and empathy. People have a chance to see what life has put you through. Bao Ninh said in “ The Sorrows of War” that “ It was necessary to write about the war, to touch readers’ hearts, to move them with words of love and sorrow, to bring to life the electric movements, to let them, in the reading and the telling, feel they were there, in the past, with the author” (56). Having a peaceful society is possible for us, but it’s not something we force. It’s something we comprehend together.
Ninh, Bảo, and Frank Palmos. The Sorrow of War: A Novel of North Vietnam. New York: Pantheon, 1995. Print.
Tim O'Brien. The Things They Carried. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 2005. Print.
Philip Zimbardo.The psychology of evil. Sep 2008
King, Jr., Martin Luther. "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam." Church Sermon. Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia. 30 Apr. 1967.Youtube. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.