IRONICALLY, while modern-day advancements in information and communication technology would have supposedly narrowed the gaps to bring forth Marshall McLuhan’s “global village”, peoples and nations, as it were, are invariably coming apart, if not polarized, at the seams.
Ostensibly, contemporary world events – or, bluntly put, “protocols of the new world (dis)order” – undeniably unveil the despicable indicators of unrest: division and conflicts, strifes and wars, violence, aggression and oppression, assault on civil liberties and human rights, and all other forms of “inhumanity” committed against humanity.
Have the affairs of this one civilized world helplessly pushed us to acquiesce both the egregious impossibility of collective human solidarity and the inevitability of war or violence?
Or, have violence, aggression, and greed inevitably become a permanent scourge to humanity and the world?
Are there yet chances for authentic peace?
All peace ideologues and advocates agree on the notion that peace implies not only the negation or mere absence of conflict, war, or violence (otherwise such would smack of vacuous tranquility), but more importantly the active or workable immanence or presence of “justice, dignity, freedom, sovereignty, truth, compassion, and respect”.
But, even if peace ideologues may not be one in charting a common formula for peace, there is no arguing that the world certainly shares a common humanity and that peace is indeed an irrepressible yearning present in the heart of each person, regardless of his or her race, color, or religion.
Hence, some common grounds may be postulated to pave the way for the chances of peace.
One, is the truth that humans are social by nature. The Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council aptly puts it: “God did not create man for life in isolation, but for the formation of social unity.”
Thus, between the individual person and society, the “common good” holds eminence over the “private good”.
If peace then can be equated as good, it is imperative that it be oriented towards the good of society – or “the greatest interest for the greater number of people” – over private good or individual interest.
Finally, violence or conflict germinates in the minds and hearts of people. Hence, in our quest for peace, we should start, as a point of departure, from ourselves.
We cannot be at peace with the world unless we are at peace with ourselves. And neither can we be at peace with ourselves unless we are at peace with God.
External peace starts from within. Systems alone cannot bring about peace – for systems, both corrupt and wise, are but creative artifacts of man himself.
To effect social change is but to start from the heart of a person – and a “changed heart” would pave the way for a “changed world”.
If only everybody – rich and poor alike, the aggressor and the aggressed – would start pointing their fingers at themselves (and not at others), perhaps we would be one step forward in our quest for peace.