Thursday, November 22, 2012

Middle East peace and the individual

When starting out to study peace and conflict, the emphasis on inner peace was made known to me early. From there all emotions of life have been understood. A war between two countries was quickly introduced and brought into the realm of a personal relationship. This connection between the international peace and a personal peace is understood as outer peace and inner peace. Within this dynamic is how the world comes into my mind.
The situation between Palestine and Israel that has rolled along for decades is one violent conflict that has lost a great deal of trust between each other. In another part of the world we have the insanity of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Central African Republic, and both Sudans.
In the realm of a personal relationship, trust is paramount and trust is equally important within international relations. If the trust factor is understood to be a violent relationship, that trust exists even though it may not be the desired situation. Yet violence is a trusted action in all the relations noted above. This leaves us with the question, How can peace ever be possible when violence is a trusted action?
On a personal level you can equate a similar reality when a spouse or an important friend breaks the trust built up between you and them. Such actions will bring life down to a very rudimentary level where anger and aggression are primary responses. Those responses are exactly where the countries listed above exist now.
How do we get past this so that peace is a reality?
On an international scale, inner peace is a very difficult reality because a nation has many people. What is needed is a leader that understands the need for inner peace. Furthermore, a leader that can communicate that need and emulate the mindset of peace is needed. Such leadership has not been present for many years. In this event we must rely on the leadership of others. The sad reality is that the leadership of the other countries is just as weak and untrustworthy. Religious leaders have just as much blood on their hands as the political leaders. The United Nations Security Council system is powered by the untrustworthy leadership of the Permanent Five. This leaves us with the leadership capacity of the individuals.
The leadership of the individual brings us right back to the need for inner peace. This is when each of us has to look at how we think, understand and act to both ourselves and each other. A philosophy that helps to understand peace is to balance where you see yourself and others as helping or hindering efforts to obtain a peaceful relationship.
Are your comments centred around the relationship, you or the other? Peace is a relationship that has a trusted harmony of mutual respect. For an example of poor mutual respect, being Canadian I have lived with the imbalance of respect that the political leadership in the RUSA has for Canada. This imbalance of respect has filtered down to the average person and results in the constant comments of Canada being taken over, being insignificant and having the impression that the RUSA can tell Canada what to do. This is not a peaceful mindest. However, there have been enough peaceful interactions/relations between the two to understand that peace is more valuable than the rhetoric of disrespect. The reality of the disrespect is still there and it is often spoken about when the two leaders meet.  This keeps the issue at the forefront of all situations and that makes the relationship easier and more peaceful.
In that example we can see how leaders work to ensure the rhetoric of the people does not escalate. Furthermore we can see how the need for the individual to be peaceful is a must.
In the cases of Israel, Palestine, DR Congo, Uganda, Rwanda, Central African Republic, Both Sudans and Burundi, there is very little respect and most communication is done with weapons. Before the weapons are no longer used the leaders have to build a certain level of trust and or respect. This is where ceasefire agreements come into play. Once we can get to a point where the weapons are no longer used and put away, the work to build a peaceful reality will begin. 

To make a parallel to a personal relationship, is having a friend that tells the truth yet that truth is that they continue to hurt and cheat you a peaceful relationship?  For the international scene, such truth is a hard reality of life when weapons have been put away. Some poeple act in ways that are destructive and all you can do is let them go to destroy themselves. Hopefully they will not and rebuild theirself into a more peaceful person.

More often though such situations will quickly see weapons/aggression put to use again out of anger, frustration and a desire to exact revenge to balance out the pain and suffering one has felt.
Again the need for inner peace is needed. It is not an easy path yet we must look to understand how others are trying to help further peaceful realities. Even if that person is insane, there has to be a string of understanding. For the peaceful person the task of understanding is ever present.

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