Peace comes at a price – personal inconvenience. We know peace is defined as the absence of strife, so that requires the inconvenience of personal sacrifice to achieve it. We all must take inventory of our lives and begin itemizing what matters most. Look at peace as a consequence and what it would look like in your nation. Then envision what decisions are necessary to receive the reward of this consequence of national peace and tranquility.
When there is a lack of peace in a nation, it is indicative of disorder. Something is disjointed, broken, and deteriorating. It’s like walking by a soda machine and there is a sign draped on it saying”Out of order.” The machine has potential, possibility, and capability, but it is hindered by disorder and instead of providing nourishment it will sit and become dilapidated leaving a faint reminder of what it once was. What will cost to fix it? Immediately we think only in terms of monetary expense as the only cost. However, someone will have to inconvenience themselves of their time and energy to provide a service for others and their satisfaction.
When a nation, unlike a soda machine, fall into disrepair the ramifications are much more disconcerting. Instead of a passerby’s thirst being quenched momentarily, some people will die, be persecuted, and the majority live in poverty. In other words there is an unseen sign hanging over the nation reading “out of order.” The throwing of money towards them from first world countries is not the answer. The enacting of new laws and strict oppression is not either. Peace does not begin on the outside but on the inside.
Treating others the way I want to be treated is known as the golden rule in nine major religions of the world. It is found in some form or another in all 193 constitutions of nations. It is found in the 30 Articles of Human Rights located in the United Nations Charter. The Golden Rule is a guiding ethic that creates an environment of honor that provides the elements of national peace. Looking through this ethical lens brings back order to the disjointed non-functioning potential of national unrest and upheaval that is produced by an environment of selfishness and hate.
To bring back lasting peace begins with education. We educate by instilling in the mind from an early age that all people have value regardless of skin color, social status, ethnicity, and financial ability. Can you imagine what a culture would look like if adults who came out of an educational system that had the Golden Rule has it’s foundation when it came to human interaction? We teach mathematics, technological skills, adaptation, history, language, etc. but we never teach the ability to interact socially and productively with one another. Education on how to achieve and maintain peace and order in our lives and the ones we interact with everyday. The success of interaction is based upon mutual respect. But, respect is not innate but is taught. It begins with the educating a young person of expanding their world view beyond themselves. In other words, it is not all about them. This will require them to endure inconveniences to promote the profit of the whole through personal sacrifice to achieve the profit of the entire community.
If people can be taught to hate then people can be taught to honor and respect others!
All nations may not have gold, silver, oil, or some other precious commodity, but one thing you must have to be a nation is people. The quality of their relationships is the stability of the society. A strong society is the product of an environment of honor. There are nations that have gold and oil and have no world voice due to instability and a national environment filled with the clouds of selfishness that perpetuate tribal factions, racism, and greed in all forms. . On the other hand, you have nations that have little to no silver or diamonds and yet are strong as a world voice and filled with innovation. They may not be perfect but the level of honor and mutual respect is at a much higher level than the previous mentioned.
Let’s pay the price for peace and treat others the way we want to be treated.
Dr. Reuben Egolf