FIGHTING for Peace... what???

United States
March 3, 2007 10:35am CST
It's possible that I'm the only person who finds this slightly odd, but here it goes: When I lived in Texas, the man living two houses down the street from me was a political activist. We're talking "activist" with a BIG "A." We'd occasionally engage in discussions about this and that, and what he was "into" at the time. "Peace" seemed to be a common theme, but I was always puzzled by the way he (along with many of his stream of associates that came through) would always talk about "Fighting for Peace." Whereas I understand the UNDERLYING intent, doesn't that seem like a contradiction? Yet-- when we look around the world, we have "peacekeeping FORCES" and various movements in countries with unrest all claim to be "FIGHTING for peace." It got me to start pondering the question of whether "fighting" can ever really be the path to peace, and how much of our global unrest is a result of people FIGHTING for something that perhaps is better arrived at through DIALOGUE and NEGOTIATION. I realize it's a natural human inclination to reach for the old school yard argument "yeah, but THEY started it, so I had to hit back!" What do you think? Is "fighting for peace" a realistic idea? Or does the very fact that you're "fighting" automatically make peace almost impossible to reach? Has "peace" become merely another political "football" to be pushed around by force? Can peace (in situations from small and local, to large and global) not be reached through peaceful means? I look forward to your opinions!
5 people like this
6 responses
• Singapore
3 Mar 07
It is true. It is so very true. You cannot FIGHT for peace. This is a contradiction. Have you come across that mother theresa story? Someone invited her to attend an ANTI-WAR conference. She rejected him outright. She replied that if it is a FOR-PEACE conference, she would go.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Mar 07
Thanks for the comment! Yes, I love that quote from Mother Theresa-- pretty much sums it up.
• Singapore
16 Mar 07
She's a great lady. Thanks for marking mine as the best response too! ;-)
@braided (698)
• Canada
22 Mar 07
I know my response will take this in another direction but here goes .... A wise native man once told me that most men/women (people) are looking for peace ... well, peace doesn't come from the circumstances outside ones self but is something that resides within ... I know you are talking about global peace but ... if we are ever to have global peace and this may sound like an idealistic notion but each person has to work on it for and by them self ... within themselves and stop looking at their neighbour who they think is causing them lack of peace .... we need to educate the world or do we ? Its a universal truth at all know within themselves but rarely do they want to take responsiblity for it ... they want find blame somewhere else for the disruption of their tranquility .... but we are all to blame if we dont start with our selves first .... Fighting for peace is an oxymoron .... you dont need to struggle ... that will only cause more turmoil ...
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 07
As usual, we see the world through very similar eyes. Toltec Teacher Don Miguel Ruiz says "Don't take anything personally; nothing is personal." Maybe that sounds far-fetched, but his point is that when others try to inflict their "trip" on us (and vice-versa) it's really a process INTERNAL to people, not EXTERNAL. The idea that OUR peace can somehow be created by how we control someone ELSE is really just an illusion, and something we tell ourselves as a tool to avoid looking at our own truths.
• United States
19 Mar 07
My take, laced with pessimistic sarcasm... It depends on who's peace we're talking about. I guess domination would be a form of peace for control freaks. Having everything go their way, run every corner according to their law, have everyone believe (or fake the believe of, due to fear) what they believe... yeah, I'd say that'd be pretty soothing for me, if I wanted control. But I know what you're saying. We can't fight for true peace. Mediation is the key, but intimidation is the fad. Meditation takes too long, anyway. Who wants to wait around, negotiating for months? We all just want a quick-fix, or to at least be able to SEE a RESULT of some form, whether it's their bodies in the ground or ours.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 07
Absolutely! The foundation of a competition-based (as opposed to cooperation-based) society is FEAR. When you FEAR, you have to have CONTROL to reduce your fears. CONTROL requires taking others by FORCE, because getting there by negoatiation won't happen "in my lifetime." And God knows, "it's ALL about ME." At least... if you're a politician... and they are the ones controlling, and they only have a time frame called "while I am in office." Hence, the quick fix... "KILL the bums, so we can have peace!"
@ashjoe76 (1434)
• India
18 Mar 07
That's a great thought - I mean, what the world needs these days is to reflect on what you have expressed here. It is really a contradiction to think of 'fighting' for peace. It is a whole load of nonsense. You can never make people who think in a different way think like you, to adhere to what you call peace on your own terms. You need to understand and respect other people and their culture. Only when you show the right amount of resepct can you think of moving towards peace. Otherwsie, you will just buy battles and violence through your fights and never peace.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Mar 07
I think where it REALLY becomes nonsense is when we sit down and contemplate the idea that OTHER people are somehow responsible for OUR peace.
@lifeiseasy (2292)
• United States
6 Mar 07
you nailed this subject right on the head !!! I havealways found it to be so ironic how bombers kill thousands of people to try to have peace in their countries ...what the heck is that for ...blows my mind sometimes how people think ...fighting for peace will never solve anything ... working for peace can solve many things...great writing by the way ...sure wish I had your knack for it ... :D
• United States
16 Mar 07
Thanks for your kinds words! I do tend to agree with you-- a lasting peace cannot be obtained through violent means.
@bluewings (3857)
4 Mar 07
Quite a paradox.Don't know why I didn't think of it before.Yes,it does sound ridiculous that someone can force peace down our throat with their might.But,I was trying to make sense of it.If it was not for the intervention of the US and Russians the WWII could ended differently.So,it might seem that at times peace needs might cause when in war you would always want to fight out an equal standing against you .It's only when you realise that the might of the person/nation opposing your ideology and aspirations is far superior to yours ,will you even consider pondering over their perspective and that opens up a small window to peace.Just trying to play the devil's advocate however,I completely agree that it would be much wiser to involve nations in war in a dialogue,if there is a possibility for that. P.S- I didn't get notification of this discussion although my notify is switched on.Happened with another one.Don't know why.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Mar 07
I suppose it DOES get difficult to draw a clear line sometimes-- sometimes people say they are fighting for peace, when what they are really fighting for is to maintain their "way of life" in the face of some outside threat.