To live in peace
"It's the love of right lures men to wrong."- Kim Stanley Robinson,
an American science fiction writer, best known for his Mars trilogy.
There are many an index for peace and peaceful living: the foremost
being that human beings must live in peace within, for them to live in
peace without. Nothing external to you has any power over you. But to
achieve inner peace, the foremost necessity is that one live in a
peaceful and lawful country in which the people live in harmony and
tranquillity and are law abiding.
To accomplish this state of being, a nation must be free of poverty;
its people must possess character; they must believe in ethics; and its
leaders must speak the truth. The people should realise that whatever is
their right as a citizen is also the right of another; and it becomes
their duty to guarantee as well as to possess.
We live in a more connected and interdependent world; and the single
most profound implication of an increasingly interconnected world is
that it has rendered us ethically, if not morally, interdependent.
Hence, it is worth realising that the foundation of ethical value starts
when our individual life journeys begin. It ends only with the cessation
of our existence.
Yet, in spite of knowing it to be true, we manoeuvre to bend ethics,
water down morals, and parse down values to serve our agendas which
mostly hinges on attaining selfish goals. Such people forget that it is
not, they who support the root of peace and tranquillity in life; but
the root supports them because it is through peace, calm and serenity
that one achieves inner tranquillity. Therefore, the pursuit, even of
the best of things, ought to be calm and tranquil. There is no such a
thing as a "way to peace"; peace is the way for people to live.
The human spirit is sustained by, an upright, tranquil, and moral
heart, which leads to inner peace. A quiet conscience makes one strong
because the inner peace facilitates the mind to think: wisdom comes from
reflection and adds strength to character. A man who possesses strength
of character will extend his circle of compassion to all living things,
for he knows that without such compassion, man will not find peace.
In fact, the greatest ethical test that we as humans face is the
treatment of those who are at our mercy. It is not enough to be just
nice; one has to be good - good at heart.
We generally are attracted by nice people, but only on the assumption
that their niceness is a sign of goodness that reflects a good heart.
However, one may appear a nice person, but appearance is not reality. A
man's actions determine whether a man is good or bad.
Rightful actions are conducive to peace; wrongful actions lead to
violence - physical and mental. Any action that brings about violence
infringes and violates the highest ethics, which is the goal of all
evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings - physically,
mentally, or both - we remain as savages.
Peace begins with a smile and smile becomes your joy when peace
reigns. However, some people, especially those in the religious
establishments, think they have divine permission to enable actions that
a morally normal people would not contemplate.
"The terrible error in the course of human civilisation is
undoubtedly the defective judgment that allowed religious authorities
usurp the foundation of societal morality, in which all collective
ethics of humankind must take a cause.
"This appalling blunder is comparable only to assigning the leper
exclusive franchise to run beauty clinics in the society; this can only
lead to cycles upon cycles of common infection syndrome." - Adebowale
Ojowuro, Echoes of Common Sense. Ojowuro hails from a country in which
religious persecution is an ever-present threat. He is South African of
Religion and politics have always been controversial, potent, and a
dangerous mix. If anything, it is the result of envy and selfish
ambition: where you have envy and selfish ambition; there you find
disorder and every evil practice.
Too often, theology or history is nothing more than canonised
opinion; and much of what is foist as fact or truth in religion and
politics is in reality fantasy, fallacy, or falsehood.
A little common sense, goodwill, and a tiny dose of unselfishness
could make this goodly earth, and any country on earth, into an earthly
The greedy ambitions of men may have been the driving spirit of
civilisations; but greed has remained the inventor of injustice, as well
as its current enforcer. One of the weaknesses of our age is our
apparent inability to distinguish our needs from our greed that accounts
for the loss of peace in the world.
Yet, in spite of it all, there are peaceful nations in the world. Do
you know the most peaceful countries? Since 2007 each year, the Global
Peace Index issued by the Institute for Economics and Peace is a
measurement of a country's peacefulness based on external and internal
Although it seems like the world is becoming progressively cruel,
according to the Global Peace Index, there are 20 most peaceful
countries in the world; and some will come as a surprise.The top 20
peaceful countries in 2014 from most to less are Denmark, Norway,
Singapore, Slovenia, Sweden, Iceland, Belgium, the Czech Republic,
Switzerland, Japan, Ireland, Finland, New Zealand, Canada, Austria,
Bhutan, Australia, Portugal, Qatar and Mauritius.
It is indeed a great advantage to live in a peaceful country; but how
does one measure, peacefulness? In attempting to gauge peacefulness, the
GPI investigates the extent to which countries are involved in ongoing
domestic and international conflicts. It also seeks to evaluate the
level of harmony or discord within a nation.
Ten indicators broadly assess safety and security in society. The
assertion is that low crime rates, minimal incidences of terrorist acts,
violent demonstrations, harmonious relations with neighbouring
countries, a stable political scene, number of people displaced or
living as refugees, are some of the indicators of peacefulness. Peace is
also correlated to, indicators such as income, schooling facilities, and
the level of internal integration.
Peaceful countries often shared high levels of transparency of
government and low corruption. The Index has received endorsements as a
political project from a number of major international figures,
including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan,
former President of Finland and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Martti
Ahtisaari, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Yunus, and
former United States President Jimmy Carter.
Steve Killelea, the Australian philanthropist who conceived the idea
of the Index, argues that the Index "is a wake-up call for leaders
around the globe".
In a world driven by greed, perhaps, peace, true love, and
happily-ever-after are nothing but wasted wishes, and failed endeavours;
yet, they are our most precious dreams; and cling to them, we must.
It is time we realised that there is beauty and power in unity. We
must be, united in heart and mind and live as one people.
We must learn from one another, and not claim that we alone possess
all truth and claim on liberty.
The formula of life is simple. It is the formula of giving - giving
courage, attention, peace, love and comfort to yourself and the society.
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