People always talk about peace and attaining peace and spreading peace; but none of this can be done if you are not a peaceful individual. If you are not a peaceful person, you are not fit to lead any campaign for the progression of peace. If you are not a peaceful nation, you cannot lead the world in a campaign for the progression of peace. If you are, in fact, a peaceful person, and you want to make a change that will bring forth peace in any environment, you have to be peaceful yourself first. Then you have to surround yourself with other like-minded peaceful people who can be led towards that one common goal.
There is an island of lawless rebels where only the strong survive. If you are not one of the strong, you have to align yourself with a strong group to ensure survival in exchange for all of your rights as an individual. Just imagine a prison environment on an island.
What would happen if we drop five peaceful people in the middle of that? How long would it take for them to conform to the dog-eat-dog nature? Or how long would it take for them to be… exterminated?
Now if we flip the demographics of this theoretical island and the peaceful are the majority with five violent people… What happens next? Will the peaceful people “get rid of” the violent ones to preserve their ways of life? If they do, are they still peaceful? Or will the violent people have to cause a considerable amount of damage before anything is done at all? The only thing that I’m sure of, is that those five will definitely cause some damage.
Peaceful people will do whatever they have to do to avoid confrontation. That’s what make them peaceful. Often these acts of consideration are mistaken for weaknesses and fearfulness, when in fact, they are direct opposite. It takes a special type of strength to avoid retaliation to direct wrongdoings.
The term dog-eat-dog world has at no time been something that I agree with simply because not everyone is a dog. I’m not a dog and I never intend to be one. I don’t want to kill, simply to not be killed. So what do I do? Do peaceful people adapt to the degree of ferocity around them to survive? To excel? To be noticed?
These are not rhetorical questions. I would honestly like to see what other peoples’ opinions are when it comes to this.
Dr. King led an entire nation to change with nonviolent protesting. Now while this may look like a weak approach to solving such a violent and hateful era that our country was in, I believe it is the only thing that would have worked. It took years of persistence though. It took sleepless nights. It took a vision of a better future for his people and this country. Unfortunately, in the end his life was still the price that had to be paid before change was made. It goes back to my idea that it takes a love that is bigger than the scope of your own life. Many people see the problems, but not many have the compassion and love that it takes to give their all to bring about the necessary change.
Jesus Christ gave his life for the sins of all mankind knowing that not everyone would accept his message; nevertheless he suffered the crucifixion for those who would accept him, even if it was just one. Never did he teach hate. Never did he condone it from anyone else. But yet and still he was executed in the worst and most shameful way, never laying a finger on anyone for their harm.
Hate and violence seems to always overcome those who are against it. The individual becomes a martyr for that belief, but to those who will witness the price that is paid, they are only examples of what not to do. The love of the cause, or humanity, or simply your neighbor has to be greater than the fear of death to begin a peaceful and selfless world.
With that being said, I also understand why some people say, “How can I change anything? I’, just one person.” I get it. It seems to be a task way too large to even make a dent. The way I see it though, is that the only reason the world is still turning is because there is always a man or woman willing to voluntarily pay the ultimate price for the greater good. If it were not for that handful of martyrs, where would we be today? That gives me hope. If we can just get more people to give a little more and want a little less, the price will be less expensive for an individual.
Is it unattainable? Hopefully, at my life’s end I’ll be able to answer more positively than I feel within my heart right now. I can hope though. We are all capable of sharing perspectives, giving in compassion and changing through love. That’s what gives me hope for the world.