I heard the phrase “peace is possible” this week and it got me thinking because as much as I believe in the possibility of peace and hope for world peace some day, sometimes it feels like it’s more of a concept than a truly possible reality. Like the difference of seeing an architect’s plans for a building on paper versus the building actually being built and being able to touch it and walk through it. Both are “real” but the physical building seems more real than the paper drawing.
Also I think we’ve been hurt more than once by people who have great words and ideas but never follow through with actions, so we tend to be more distrustful when it comes to the intangible things of the world, like love, honor and peace. This is especially painful and difficult when it’s the same person or group repeatedly who says great stuff but doesn’t follow through, like the drug user or alcoholic in our life who promises to change but doesn’t, or the boss who thanks you for your honestly good ideas and those ideas end up in the garbage almost before you leave the room.
So is peace really possible?
Beyond the few people who seem to thrive off of chaos and discord in the world, I think most people really would like peace. We’re not talking about a world without challenges or anything to stimulate us, a “perfect” world, but a world where bombs dropping and genocide or civil wars or slavery aren’t the daily reality for some people. For those who are so busy strategizing and putting energy into planning how to kill someone (or many people), why don’t they put their talents to work on how to kill cancer or HIV or Alzheimers or resolve world hunger and the need for safe and accessible water around the world? There are plenty of issues in the world that will only be resolved with the help of great thinkers and people with specific skills, skills that are currently not being used for the good of the most people.
I think one place peace starts is with more people believing that it’s actually possible. Because if we believe it’s actually possible we’ll think, act and react differently, which will create a ripple effect wherein other people start to think, act, and react differently too. While one little ripple can’t be a tidal wave, it certainly can and does start one. You may not see an instant change in your life when you choose to believe that peace is possible, but over time the little things will add up and it will be clear that life is better with peace than without.