First the Peace, or the Conflict?
I don’t believe peace is about rainbows and doves; if it were, Mother Nature would have supplied us with all the ingredients. Peace is definitely not about perfect harmony either, or else is would be unattainable. On top of that, peace isn’t something as straightforward as freedom or happiness; nor is it some elaborate, complex scientific experiment requiring a flask of nitrogen heptasulfide. So what is peace? What I believe is that humans have not yet found an adequate definition for this peculiar word. Because of this, peace is still some elusive dream floating around in the minds of millions of people who pray for it.
On the other hand, conflict is readily identified. What is war? War is when people rush onto the battlefield with machine guns and bazookas and kill for their beliefs (also known as a form of gruesome madness where problems do not get solved.) But conflict doesn’t always have to be so large on the scale: it can emerge in the form of rock/paper/scissors, bickering, or the plot of a book. It has always been there. Because of conflict we grow, mature, and learn about morality. Because of conflict, we strive for understanding and tolerance. Because of conflict, we develop a sense of responsibility, acceptance, and a reason to forgive.
Without conflict, there would be no peace. This statement, while being admittedly true, is also extremely irritating. This means that the relationship between peace and conflict is a never-ending game of tug-of-war. It means that it is a variant of the question “first the chicken or the egg”. If we face the facts, conflict, though not desirable, is unavoidable.
But maybe this is a pessimistic view of everything.
Maybe, an easier way to achieve peace is to develop a constant motivation to solve a conflict. If this were feasible, world peace would not be perfect harmony, but a state in which every citizen of the Earth strove to become peacemakers in their own world; where every single person would make the effort to forgive and forget. Imagine if all countries endeavored disarmament, and tried to divide their resources as fairly as possible; or if all the soldiers laid down their guns and returned to their families. War would not be possible. Amongst ourselves, arguments would be deliberately avoided in the form of reconciliation. Incitations would be ignored, and threats would not be returned. Bared fists would be returned with an undefeatable smile. Conflict would be impossible to provoke!
This way, peace would no longer be a grand revolution so far out of reach from the average human ─peace becomes something within capability, no matter you wealth, status, who you are, or what you do. Peace becomes a collage of all the positive qualities of mankind: impressive!
Submitted by: Julie Chen ISNS Secondary