Monday, September 08, 2008

Do We Hope For World Peace?

Every beauty pageant contestant wishes for it. Every political candidate endorses it. Most people in the world pray for it. But it doesn't happen. What, you ask, is it that we all desire? World peace. But is peace possible? If so, how to we obtain it? If not, why not? Well boys and girls, I have an opinion on the issue (startling, I know). I think men (and women) talk about peace but live for war.

The natural state of man is to be at war. We are made for war. Our brains are wired for war. Well, maybe not war, but we are wired to face extreme physical and mental challenges. Our bodies and minds are designed to fight for survival. In this time of plenty (at least here in the US) how do we provide that challenge which is as essential to our souls as love is? We go to war.

If we're not at war with another country we are at war among ourselves within this country. It's interesting that our society is much less militant when faced with famine and drought. Do you suppose we're too weak to want to fight? Or could it possibly be that we sink our energy into surviving the most immediate threat to our existence and not into badgering our neighbors.

There is an old Eastern proverb that states, "When food is plentiful there are many problems. When food is scarce there is only one problem." With modern farming methods we produce more food on less land than any generation before us ever did. Most of our population has moved away from rural areas. With urbanization physical activity becomes a choice you make, rather than a way of life. Somehow it becomes "uncool" to work physically to make a living.

No matter how miniscule the microcosm of society you examine is you will find that people need conflict. We need it. We don't profess to want to fight; but judging from the amount of fighting we do I believe there is a biological imperative directing men toward conflict. Look at the most innocent of societies and you will find this every bit as true as when you examine national governments. Is your local PTA, 4-H club, or church group any more peaceful than the governments of the world's nations? If you've been involved with any of those groups for long enough I'm sure you will agree... they love conflict. Even when people profess to want smooth waters there is always someone stirring the pot.

We like war. We don't like death and destruction, but we like war. We like to win. We like the endorphin rush that comes with a good fight. We love the energy it brings. We thrive on the race to be the best, to prove we're the best, to make others acknowledge us as the best. We like war. But only if we're winning.

1 comment:

Amy said...

I have a slightly different take. I think that people and groups do want peace. The problem is that they want peace on their terms. They want everyone else to follow their beliefs as the road to peace, instead of working on acceptance and understanding.

Jake camping in the living room

Jake camping in the living room