Of Peace And People
edited: Wednesday, August 22, 2007
By Carol Knepper
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2007
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Peace is not an unattainable goal...
Of Peace And People
So many claim to long for world peace, but yet we never seem to arrive at that goal. One of the most powerful voices in that quest is that of the poet, and interestingly enough we have been banned from certain occasions, as if our very presence might stand in defiance of the powers that be. It is time to make ourselves heard, loudly and clearly. It is time to think, in each and every one of our actions, of that lofty aim to which we strive, and to take steps in that direction.
But peace is such a huge and distant concept, some will argue. What on earth do we do to achieve it?
We must regard our progress toward peace as we would a journey toward any other goal: we must break it down into small steps, lest the task should appear overwhelming.
To me, the first step in achieving harmony lies in eliminating the inequities which abound across this world. A minute percentage of this earth’s population controls a gigantic proportion of its wealth. A world that consists of a few very powerful haves and a great many disenfranchised have-nots will never be a peaceful place. We must achieve a more equitable distribution of material wealth in order to arrive at the spiritual wealth so essential to world harmony. Unfed bellies do not make for harmonious relationships, and those who are focused on the hollow feeling of constant hunger can scarcely be expected to keep their minds on peace. So first we must provide adequate nutrition and potable drinking water to every human being on this planet. And yes, that would siphon some profits out of some very well-lined and overstuffed pockets. Peace, like everything else, comes at a financial price. But we have paid the price of war and bloodshed and loss of life, and no sum of money can equate to that loss. Peace may not be as profitable as war in the short term, but its long-term benefits will bring their own rewards.
Another essential step lies in the direction not of mere tolerance, for that implies some level of discord or disrespect, but in true acceptance of each other’s differences, whether those be of race, colour, religious belief, political persuasion, or sexual orientation…the list goes on. If we invalidate a single human being we do so to all humanity. A person who feels invalidated will not be at peace, and when entire groups feel invalidated, peace is impossible.
Each nation must be on good terms within itself and must make reparation to those groups who have been victims of genocide, annihilation, ethnic cleansing, and other crimes against humanity. For many countries, including Canada, steps must be taken in regard to treatment of native populations. We must work to unify each nation within itself, so that various groups within each country can work in harmony and equality toward a peaceful ending. People who experience discrimination on a daily basis, who read daily diatribes against the very existence of their culture, language, and heritage, cannot work with the “majority” which so diminish their existence. The notion of minority and majority itself must be dispelled, and all members of every nation must be accepted within their homeland on an equal basis. A nation which is not at peace within itself cannot make any sort of valid contribution to world peace.
We are all climbing the same mountain here. If we climb high enough we can virtually touch God. People may make their ascent from different directions, but if we allow them that, if we do not push other human beings down the sides of the slopes, in the end we will all make it to the apex.
Fellow poets, let us be the first to start that ascent, reaching out our hands to those who need help with the climb.