IS PEACE TO YOU?" GUESTBOOK COMMENTS ...
A selection of Comments on our Web Site:
Mary Ann Urban, Utah, USA - I truly felt inspired when I read
the mission of your organization. I
Posted by Stephen Taylor on July 20,
1998 on the nonviolence list server <http://www.nonviolence.org/board>.
It is our unwillingness to treat other humans decently that causes violence, our unwillingness (or inability) to understand them. Ignorance is the primary source of all human strife, and yet it is perhaps the one towards whose eradication the least is being done. In a book I was reading, I was moved to see a photograph of a small South American boy kneeling next to a banner proclaiming "Muerte a la Ignorancia! -- Death to Ignorance!". If everyone currently fighting against their blood enemies were to find some value and vestige of humanity in their opponents, an aim which UNESCO attempts to further, most wars would cease abruptly. Our hatred of other human beings does not arise from differences in ideology, religion, race, or economics -- it arises from our unwillingness to overcome these differences and to see pure, inherent humanity other individuals. There is this ridiculous concept of "us" and "them", a division which does not have a significant amount of physical reality to support it. The difficulty of peace is not primarily an external phenomenon; it is within us that we should seek to solve the problems; "all wars begin in the mind of man."
I am fond of the French proverb, "Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner -- To understand everything is to pardon it". UNESCO recognizes that our ignorance of other cultures and peoples is the primary obstacle in our path toward being at peace with them. It puts us at loggerheads with them. UNESCO has undertaken to further this cultural understanding among nations, the surest of all the defenses of peace. The organization recognizes that a verbal or written statement of peace between states is futile, for the most part; it is nothing physical. Peace enforced by military threat is not overly effective, for obvious reasons. The aim of UNESCO is to create a "culture of peace" and eventually THE "culture of peace", conditions throughout the world in which peace has become so integral a part of individual human cultures and human culture as a whole that it is then unthinkable to violate this by any act of war. One thinks of Switzerland and the Scandinavian countries, Costa Rica. For further information, I recommend the Constitution of UNESCO. PAX VOBIS.
Dear Mr. Stewart;
There is a peaceful revolution swelling from within the northern continents. Many who have gained their own heart's desire have realized that they cannot truly be happy if they are infringing on someone else's ability to survive in peace and until everyone is given the opportunity to have what they need to survive. Because of this realization, there is a great seeking for truth and answers to the cause and effect concerning spiritual, cultural, environmental, and global issues. This revolution acknowledges that people believe that peace is the goal for all of humanity and that people are striving to learn what their responsibility is toward peace on earth.
Thousands of grassroots organizations exist because millions of people believe that peace is a most worthy cause to strive toward. More than 1,200 non-government organizations join together to form Abolition 2000, a global network to eliminate nuclear weapons. Co-op America, with nearly 50,000 individual and 2,000 business members, provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to address today's social and environmental problems. The Institute for Global Communications provides Internet tools and online services to organizations and activists working on peace, economic and social justice, human rights, environmental protection, labor issues and conflict resolution. Sustainable Communities Network links citizens to resources and one another to create healthy, vital, sustainable communities. Wagga Wagga, in Austrailia, is the first Rotary Peace City where residents are dedicated to world peace. Throughout the world, Earth Day is recognized as the symbol of environmental responsibility and stewardship because people support the dream of a healthy, vibrant planet; a loving, caring world; and the noblest endeavors of the human spirit. More than a million Steps Toward Inner Peace, printed in two dozen languages, have been distributed by the Friends of Peace Pilgrim in more than 100 countries because peace is important to people.
Striving for peace is not a new idea even for some of the current institutions. The International Peace Bureau was founded in 1892, the Nobel Peace Prize was first awarded in 1901, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was established in 1910. Mahatma Gandhi, who lived from 1869 to 1948, followed the philosophy that "There is no way to peace. Peace is the way." This concept continues to live on through Gandhi Today. The Unitarian Universalist Association, with principles which include the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all, is a consolidation of Universalists who organized in 1793 and Unitarians who organized in 1825. The entire country of the United States of America began with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 because human beings are entitled to the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." And Cultural Survival, an organization which develops educational materials that promote tolerance and understanding of other cultures, is devoted to respect for indigenous peoples who have been, from the beginning, the world's stewards of the environment.
The principles of peace which once coincided more compatibly with political and economic ambitions are still important to individuals. Citizens for peace in the northern continents have now grown large enough to be recognized as a society, and they are staring reality in the face with the awareness that global peace and happiness cannot be achieved through some of the current political and economic practices of their own culture. It is the governing high authorities and economic leaders of this same society that are in control while the world comes to terms with something it has never encountered before. For the first time ever, humanity is seeing itself as one world, with the possibility of a single political and economic system. And people for peace believe that this system must serve the best interests of the entire world.
Empowered with the common goal of peace, this society is actively pursing peaceful methods to ensure the inherent rights of all people. The Centres for Teaching Peace are educating people with the philosophy that to change the attitudes and behaviors at the world level they must change the attitudes and behaviors at the individual level. The International Peace Training program educates civilians with peace-keeping and peace-building skills and activities. The Earthwatch Institute helps scientists gather data and communicate information that will empower people and governments to act wisely as global citizens, while the Union of Concerned Scientists is working for a healthy environment and a safe world. Physicians for Social Responsibility are working to create a world free of nuclear weapons, global environmental pollution, and gun violence. And Physicians for Global Survival are also committed to the abolition of nuclear weapons, the prevention of war, the promotion of nonviolent means of conflict resolution, and achievement of social justice in a sustainable world.
Sweatshop Watch is a coalition of labor, community, civil rights, immigrant rights and women's organizations, attorneys and advocates committed to eliminating the exploitation that occurs in sweatshops. Corporate Watch is committed to exposing corporate greed by documenting the social, political, economic and environmental impacts of transnational giants. And the Center for Media & Democracy serves citizens, journalists and researchers seeking to recognize and combat manipulative and misleading public relations practices, including those which strive to convince the public that junk food is nutritious, pollution is harmless, and that what's good for big business and big government is good for everyone.
There is a New American Dream dedicated to promoting cultural, behavioral, industrial, and spiritual changes that are vital to reclaiming a healthy planet for future generations. And there is an International Movement for a Just World which seeks to create public awareness about injustices within the existing global system and to develop a deeper understanding of the struggle for social justice and human rights at the global level. And there is an International Action Center which coordinates international meetings and teach-ins, holds demonstrations, publishes news releases and fact sheets, and produces video documentaries opposing U.S. military involvement throughout the globe.
There is a revolution for peace that comprises individual people who realize that to make a difference in the world, they must make a difference in themselves. There is a revolution for peace that is determined to fulfill the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There is a revolution for peace that is more than just a ripple in the waters. It may be war and violence in the news, but a quiet tidal wave is breaking the surface. It is a revolution for peace.
Pam Ela is a peaceful peace activist, a freelance writer, and a personal advisor on matters of peace and conflict.
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