Sunday, March 27, 2011

Don't Sit Still: Commentary on Peace

In a conversation with a dear friend, I was given inspiration for this week's blog post (sorry it's a little late). Here we are, smack in the middle of political strife in Libya, the 'West's' involvement in said strife, countless other battles, genocides, and episodes of violence. The news is depressing- but what's new? This week's question is not, "Where is God in all of this?" (see last week's blog). Rather, the question is, where is Peace in all of this?

Merriam-Webster defines 'peace' as "A state of tranquility or quiet: as a) freedom from civil disturbance, b) a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom." This is all good and well, but for me, it lacks a certain amount of responsibility and action. Responsibility? Yes, we are responsible to each other for peace. We are required to take action for peace.

As for the conversation with the dear friend, it concerned a movie, "Serenity," a film related to the popular series "Firefly." I have never watched either (I know, I know, I'm missing out). However, this friend detailed a scene in which the protagonists stumble upon a society that seems to have just stopped dead- meaning in the midst of their daily tasks, dead. The explanation being that there had been an experimental drug given to the society, a drug that was hoped to make the entire society peaceful. Instead, it made them so apathetic to doing anything, that they stopped living! Despite the sci-fi aspect, and somewhat morbid image of an entire society dead, I think this gives us a wonderful commentary on Peace: Peace is not doing nothing.

I am no pundit on achieving peace, nor do I understand arguments for or against war (though I'm fairly thoroughly against dying in all cases), but I think working towards understanding and peaceful behavior is a necessity for this day and age. Ali Asani describes an 'ethos of pluralism' that we must all strive towards. We must, as responsible citizens of the Earth, find an educated understanding that goes beyond saying "All religions are the same." Rather, we must feel those differences, find common ground, and make our common goal Peace.

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