Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Peace Manifesto - Part I

The ideas in this piece of writing began conjoining and interlocking on December 11, 2007 as I was walking under a gentle Malaysian rain. I was contemplating the idea of Loss, specifically related to friendships, relationships, and maybe other ships. But somehow, somewhere in there, I began contemplating the idea of Gain, specifically related to friendships, relationships, and probably other ships. This led me to the idea of peace.

It is dedicated to that 9th grader, who wrote, in a few lines of deeply resonating poetry, something I think our generation should listen to.

There is much talk in this world over what will define this age of human progress; which glorious slogan or title will define Today. The Internet Revolution. The War on Terrorism. Generation Next. Citizen/Networked Journalism and Blogging. Global Warming. Britney Spears et al.

But is that true? Is that what we want. Are these what we, as a generation, have decided shall define our days here on Earth? Or has this been projected, either by onlookers or even some of us actively deciding the fate and history of Us, We, The People of Tomorrow, The Youth of Today.

While terrible or terrific in their own rights, these are not the things our generation should be judged by. I will not – or simply CANNOT – allow my time here to be remembered by a war fraught with misunderstanding or a phenomenon of any type based on or in popular culture, and, while revolutions indeed, the proliferation of the internet and the rise in power of The Commons have not yet created the lasting effects of a magnitude I think we’re capable of.

The internet. Finally information is accessible by all, almost. But it still remains a venue through which people are oppressed and things can be withheld. Redirected traffic. Un-indexed sites. There is something underneath this beautiful idea of access which we still need to overcome.

But no one can take away your-our ability to spread peace to the environment directly around you-us. No one has the power to stop me from holding that elevator door open just a little longer for the other human approaching.

Within our small sphere of influence, no one can stop us from spreading peace.

I walk down the street, an act I’ve done in over 10 countries now, and see how quickly and universally a driver uses his horn to chastise a move he’s deemed inappropriate. But was it really that bad? Has he not done that as well; turned into the lane when he thought it was clear?

Even on a forum like TechCrunch, merely a source for Silicon Valley start-up news and developments, a vast majority of comments adorn every post with derisive and aggressive statements instead of insightful and constructive conversation.

And every day, customer service representatives, humans there to help us solve our problems, suffer personal attacks and angry, misplaced and unchecked aggression.

Politicians the world over spend millions, and sometimes billions, of dollars putting down and trashing others’ campaigns, ambitions, and values instead of building their own. When did we lose focus on what WE, as individuals-vessels-leaders are to instead focus on what others are not?

So it seems we have yet more work to do. Or perhaps we simply need to realign our focus as cohabitating humans to something a little… different. Just a bit.

I think we need to focus on Peace. The word. The idea. The slogan.

And make it something more. A movement. A cause. An end.

And make it measurable.

To some it’s a scary word and an even scarier idea, though I’m not sure why.

But it’s important enough for us to fight wars over. And generations before and likely generations after have and will write songs about it, give speeches on it, and legislate around it.

But prose and poetry is not enough for our generation. In this piece, I’m calling on our generation to Act On It...

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5 Comments:

Blogger Hero of the Light said...

I will have a critique ready once I finish this god-forsaken paper.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Ariane said...

i miss you...

9:12 AM  
Blogger Mix said...

Your weak wooden weaponry can't get past this plate mail.

9:52 AM  
Blogger mp said...

Makes very good sense of current times.

For me though, what matters more than the vision of 'peace' is the means to get there. You made mention of this towards the end. In that it has to be a cause, measurable, and have a definite end goal.

I am hoping Part II contains it.

PS- I sweear TechCrunch forum posters would, for the most part, be sore losers trying to channel their resentment for the actual start ups being featured by arrington. But I do agree with you about general nonconstructive-ness.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Kleinsies said...

IMHO, I think that any negativeness in this world rears its head when we feel inadequate in some way.

I also feel it isn't about peace, but about a mutual respect and understanding. Respect that someone can have the opposite opinion as you and believe in it as much as you believe in yours. Respect for fellow human beings. An understanding overall the people are people. Actions are fueled by our feelings, and feelings are fed by circumstance.

I think just keeping that in mind and allowing it to influence our own actions would be a positive first step. Maybe this is where your inspired english learner comes into play.

1:34 AM  

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