As you read this piece, more than 1.5 billion people in the world suffer the consequences of systematic violence in their countries. Indeed, most of us have a memory of watching the violence of some kind on the news or seeing it with our own eyes.
What is violence? Violence is the absence of peace. It is time to realize the importance of peace if we want to continue living on this planet we call our home.
Read on and spread the message: peace matters (more than ever).
Why is peace so important today?
Almost 80 million people can be considered refugees fleeing from their countries because of the lack of peace surrounding their homes. Just to give an example, according to the United Nations, the number of civilians who died in the Afghanistan war between 2009 and 2019 rose up to 100,000. This year, that war took away the life of 10,000 more.
How can a society thrive to make the life of its members better under these circumstances?
Far from being just a statistic, the casualties in any armed conflict are people. They are members of society, fulfilling a role much needed like teachers, doctors, and many others. A society losing key members works as a crippled group of individuals instead of a system. Violence is responsible for much of this current scenario.
Peace is the answer (and has always been)
Peace, on the other hand, is the absence of conflict. Contrary to what you might think, peace is the natural state of things. Just like homeostasis is natural to any ecosystem and exogenous elements make it change, the introduction of violence in peaceful societies is not inherent to their structure, but forced upon them.
One of the main reasons for the absence of peace is the proliferation of asymmetric relationships. Wherever and whenever there is an oppressed party under the ruling of an oppressing one, there is violence about to burst. This means that when an oppressing force out of ambition, cruelty, or economic interests brings under another part of the population, the natural balance breaks up and that particular society becomes violent.
Peace is the answer to violence and equity is the main foundation for lasting peace.
The importance of world peace
Why is it important to achieve world peace? Let’s take a look at some reasons:
The gap between the development of countries suffering from systemic violence and those that enjoy momentary peace grows bigger by the day. Indeed, those countries that need to use their resources to keep peace or fight violence need to take them from fostering education, health, and growth.
2) World development
Some global issues regarding the environment and fighting pandemics require a global effort. A peaceful society could invest more in technology and dedicate funds to medical care and research rather than defensive or offensive systems. In 2019, the US spent 718.69 billion dollars on the military; that money could have helped millions of people and funded medical research.
Most countries in the world do not have a public education system to help the 773 million adults who are currently illiterate to live a different life. Instead of investing in weapons to defend or attack, a peaceful world could focus on ending this terrifying statistic.
The list could go on indefinitely, but these are more than enough arguments to think that world peace is a must and that the money invested in attacking and defending could close many gaps. Also, that money could help funding medical research that could potentially end much of the ailing of the world.
Peace benefits in a country
If we close the scope from the world to any given country, the magnifying glass allows us to see more in detail what happens to society. Some of the benefits in countries that enjoy peace are deeply related to growth, sustainability, health, and education. We could summarize all of that with what we call “the standard of life”.
In these countries, for instance, recycling and separating waste is a common behavior. Furthermore, they are among the most highly-educated population on Earth with minimal unemployment and a long expectancy of life. This is, largely, because the prolonged status of peace allowed them to care about other aspects of life as a society thus achieving new standards.
No equity, no peace
An even closer look towards countries with higher murder rates and inherent violence reveals its foundations in a severe inequity among citizens. The social pressure that these societies endure turns into hatred, which leads to instability. This instability often translates into violence breaking the peace and not allowing that society to worry about deeper problems.
For example, it is common to speak about violence among compatriots in countries like The United States, in which 0.01% of the population accumulate 11.2% of the total country’s wealth. While some households face hard times to feed all the mouths sitting at the table, others count their yearly income by the millions.
This, coupled with social and traditional media adding pressure to get into that exclusive circle, generates violence. The idea of peace under the described circumstances is very close to a utopia.
In conclusion, peace is our way out
Peace is the way out of the world’s current state. All around the planet younger and older generations work together in closing the gaps. Organizations as well as individuals struggle every day to make Earth a more joust and peaceful place to live in.
If we help spread the message and join our efforts to create awareness on the importance of peace, chances are we can change the world soon. Peace is the way out of inequity and violence and a golden ticket to enter a new, brighter future for humankind.
All of us are important in this epic endeavor and the future generations need every hand they can get to receive a more equal, peaceful, and beautiful world.
Peace matters and so does your contribution; let’s make this world a better place starting today.