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2016-12-23

A BETTER WORLD... EVERY DAY



 

 A BETTER WORLD... EVERY DAY



We are living 
the most peaceful 
epoch of  history.
                          

If this news seems incredible, I have another: we are also living the best era of mankind. It is not only my opinion, is what declares the French philosopher Michel Serres, professor at the Sorbonne and Stanford. In an interview with Stefano Montefiori, he said: "Believe me, ours is a time of peace" (Corriere Della Sera, Oct. 16, 2016). When asked how he could be optimistic, with everything that is happening in the world, he answered with clear facts: Since 1496 before the Christian era, until 1861, we had 3130 years of wars, and only 227 years of peace. That is 93% of the time humanity was at war. This has installed in the collective consciousness, the belief of continuous war.
                                          
   I recall that John Locke, in his treatise on the government (1690), 
considered two states:
 the natural state and the state of war.
 
After two world wars, humanity finally is oriented to a more stable peace.Since the middle of last century, the world in general, has had peace.


 The possibility of violent death, a century ago, was between 10 and 20%. Today, with terrorism, the probability of dying is less than 1%. (Except in Aleppo (Syria), Yemen, or Iraq). For Serres the reasons for hope are obvious. A woman of sixty years today has a life expectancy greater than a newborn in 1700. Europe has enjoyed 70 years of unbroken peace. Improvements in quality of life are indisputable. A century ago, when a man left his family—wife, children, and parents—, they did not know if he would return. The surgery was done without anesthesia. In most countries there was no running water. People lived without heating, no radio, no TV, computers, mobile phones, internet, etc. Fifty years ago life expectancy was of 60 years, now exceeds 80 years. 


Therefore, Serres insists: 

"Believe me, ours is an era of peace." His arguments are not based on the latest news from CNN, BBC or Fox. They are based on the conception of historical reality.  


During the middle ages, when the Mongol armies of Genghis Khan advanced over Europe, it is estimated that decimated 20% of humanity at that time. Centuries later, when Napoleon crossed Europe in reverse, died between five and six million persons, and more than eight hundred thousand French soldiers. After the Battle of Eylau, while going through a field strewn with corpses, Napoleon pronounced: "One night in Paris will repair all this." Today we see these abominable words with horror. But that language was part of a mental state related to an existence in perpetual war.

The trouble is that this interpretation of events continues with the misuse of language. Serrers considers that this attitude responds to thousands of years of reading reality with the constant background of war. The presentation of terrorism as war is wrong, says Serres. When there is a state of war, children are born and grow up with the idea to have an enemy in the neighboring country. This does not happen today across America, not in Europe. 

What we suffer today is an explosive pandemic of distorted or false newsResemble sparks lighting up in the dark, going out, and replaced with the following ones.


 We have gone from rational analyzed news, to chain reactions that multiply the emotionally stressful informative noise. Lately, individuals are becoming more aware that false news can kill. This fact is known since 1938, when Orson Wells announced the "War of the Worlds" with its suicides and irrational acts. Actually, with intensive mass media bombardment and instant communication, people do not analyze, do not check, and do not have enough time to think if what comes to them it is true or false. 

 If we accept the stereotype “to live in the now”, and bad news are hurting us every moment in that time prison, life is exhausted moment after moment, and we are killing ourselves without realizing it.

We do not have to live in the now of emotional tweets, lacking verification about the source and the facts. We must leave the ephemeral moment, for a wider historical and spiritual context. Two world leaders demonstrated how to transcend news of violent events, both achieved the Nobel Prize: the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The first had to escape persecution during China invasion to Tibet. Desmond Tutu went through (with N. Mandela) the struggle against Apartheid, in South Africa. Both lived under constant death threats. Their message is clear: do not complain about adversity. It makes us strong and allows us to appreciate life with intensity and joy. Both Tutu and the Dalai Lama, with the assistance of Douglas Abrams, are the authors of The Book of Joy (2016), (worth as a good present to oneself). 

We need to live in peace to counter violence at home, in the community and the world. Live in peace in our consciousness has a responsibility: our own. Live in peace does not deny reality in any way, it can promote - as did the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu, amid violence - a peaceful and harmonious reality. With a consciousness of violence, we are not going to create peace around us. We must develop courage to abandon the origins of violence, including the one generated by the so - called "sacred texts" when using terms like "war", "dominion", "conquest", "subjugate" and others. We must reject the imposition of unnecessary violence on behalf of a superior being, behind which is hidden a super-ego. We can participate in the world with humility and gratitude, without destructive mood. 

We do not walk to peace, but we must be in peace all the time.


We do not deceive ourselves with a goal far away. What counts is the peace that we live every day. Thinking peace generates peace.


We must be focused on our harmonious being. Our daily struggle is in ourselves, not fighting others. Even Muhammad said it after conquering Mecca, the Great Jihan is the inner fight of each individual. We need to purify the hardness of our resentments, anger, or revenge by the tenderness of love and compassion. To this inner struggle we go armed with prayer, meditation, contemplation, hymns, affirmations, mantras or whatever can be useful for us. 

To have peace for the suspicion of aggression or nuclear retaliation is not peace is inaction, or paralysis due to fear. The true peace comes from the security and love in ourselves, not to prevent action to others.

Attaining our peace, will allow us to experience peace and bring peace to the world. We cannot expect form others to bring us peace. It is our responsibility. There's no other way.
Why do not we see more peace in the world? The philosopher Michel Serres asked to believe that this is a time of peace. Learn to believe seems simple. It is not. It requires renewing our attitude. It is a daily renewal, a re-birth. This liberates the nativity of the child of goodness and innocence inside us. We must take the risk to live with a smile in our eyes. Then it is possible that we may receive another smile to our hearts. Hallelujah! This joy will let us see a new world every day. 






To have peace for the suspicion of aggression or nuclear retaliation is not peace is inaction, or paralysis due to fear. The true peace comes from the security and love in ourselves, not to prevent action to others.
 ©Pietro Grieco

4 comments:

  1. Beautifully done!!
    Thanks so much
    Bianca

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  2. Thank you, Bianca, and thanks to Pietro for his thoughtful writing on peace. My source of peace is to remain mindful of the presence of the Prince of Peace with me--easier said than done sometimes! May you experience his presence during this season that celebrates his arriving as a child and living among us as a man of peace. Hugs and blessings, Dawn

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  3. This is wonderful, Pedro! Thank you! My fave parts: We need to purify the hardness of our resentments, anger, or revenge by the tenderness of love and compassion. To this inner struggle we go armed with prayer, meditation, contemplation, hymns, affirmations, mantras or whatever can be useful for us. *And also.. "thinking peace generates peace." A-men!*

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  4. I love Pietro's blog. I have just read it, so interesting and encouraging. I
    thank him.
    Sending lots of love to you both.
    Jan xxx
    UK

    ReplyDelete