In response to Brad’s #PeaceChallenge, I will make a series of 4 posts. Hope you find them of value. Blessings, Sam 🙂
Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part I
In the midst of the innumerable, intractable global conflicts of today and the existence of nuclear weapons capable of destroying the world many times over, it is arguable that world governance can no longer be left solely to political decision-makers. At a microcosmic level, each and every aware individual can begin to assume greater responsibility for the state of the world by taking up the challenge of embodying the peace (microcosm) that he/she hopes to see mirrored in the world community (macrocosm). In order to embrace peace, it is helpful to understand some of the underlying reasons for the manifestation of its antithesis i.e. violence. Why do individuals resort to violence?
Individual acts of physical violence can be considered a response to physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual disharmony. For example: a difficult childhood can lead to feelings of frustration and aggression in an adult human being, who then uses violence as a mental-emotional outlet; the resort to violence could also be an action taken to protect physical basic needs such as safety and access to food; or on a spiritual level, historical antecedents such as the fact that a distant past has been characterised by war could hold violence in the collective subconscious, making it the line of least resistance. Moreover, direct aggression can have its cause in more than one instigating factor.
In full recognition of the huge challenges faced by the human race as a whole (macrocosm) and by some individual men and women (microcosm), a culture of peace would nevertheless reject direct violence as a means of resolving conflict and would instead require that countries and citizens of those countries use conflict transformation skills that deal comprehensively with the root causes of physical aggression. This rejection of the use of violence would be based on a respect for the One Life that we are all a part of.
An inherent respect for all manifestations of Life is more easily achievable if human beings can extend their range of identifications i.e. each individual has the responsibility as a member of the human family to find ways of expressing right human relations within his/her own being, family unit, local, national and global community, as well as in relation to the natural environment.
This expanded identification could be instrumental in building a culture of peace as defined by Professor Emerita, Elise Boulding, “A mosaic of identities, attitudes, values, beliefs, and institutional patterns that lead people to live nurturantly with one another, deal with their differences, share their resources, solve their problems, and give each other space so no one is harmed and everyone’s basic needs are met.”
Extract from my MA thesis entitled: A Shared Human Identity – the Foundation of a Peace Culture
Photo c/o giesje on Pixabay
 Prof Emerita, Elise Boulding, interview with Peace Work, January 1996, Cambridge, USA.