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10/18/05 The Ten Commandments - What They SHOULD Be

12/27 Do You REALLY Want World Peace?

10/15 Support Ribbon Overload Awareness

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LetusPonder Column:

Do You REALLY Want World Peace?

- Rob Daugherty

Just to start conversations I sometimes ask people, “If I could grant you any two wishes, what would they be?”  (I say two because when they’re offered anything at all, THREE wishes is just a bit too much, wouldn't you say?)  As you can expect, I get all kinds of requests.  And if I ask this in a group setting, there's always someone who says:

World Peace.

Ah yes, world peace.  Doesn’t it fill you with warmth and joy just thinking about it?  Or have you already moved on to think about what this article is going to be about?  The latter is what mostly happens because the phrase "world peace" has become overused.  As this is being written between December 25th (notice I didn’t say Christmas) and New Year’s, many people get all religious and feel-goody and new-years-resolution-y and hold hands and meditate and pray on this wonderful concept called World Peace. 

But most people don’t truly envision what world peace would really be like.  This is what I'm going to do.  But NOT from the point of view of an economic professor or an author of six no-one-has-ever-read sociology books.  I also am not a religious figurehead nor have I ever majored in political science, history, or law.  I'm just a normal guy who occasionally thinks about things.

And when I think of world peace, I think of no more war.  When I think of war, I think of fighting between two countries.  Thus, should world peace exist only in terms of relations between established countries?

No, this wouldn’t do.  There is far too much killing by all those whackball religious fanatics.

Uh oh.  That definitely wasn’t a peaceful comment.  I can’t really peacefully call them whackball religious fanatics, now can I?  What I say is wrong is merely a different interpretation of religious teachings.  But let’s not try to resolve such things at this time.

Instead, let’s assume, for this article’s sake, that it's not just fighting between two countries that makes the world un-peaceful, but let's extend this to killing, in general.  World peace would have to mean no killing for any reason.  (Well, except for capital punishment, which probably won't go away because a lot of countries like it.)  So this would mean, as a start, no more religious wars, no more boundary disputes, no more "racial cleansing," and so on.

Cheyenne by John WorldPeaceWorld Peace = No Killing People
So we have the beginning concept of what world peace would be like: no killing people.  Who would govern this world peace?  Yes, it would be all wonderful and good if people somehow acquired the inner constitution and mental fortitude to live and exude and BE world peace, but something tells me that this just isn't going to happen. We need something to enforce this newfangled idea called World Peace.

I read somewhere – fiction or channeled-new-age-"fact", I forget which one – that in order to achieve world peace, God instituted Instant Karma in all of mankind.  You pinch someone, you get pinched.  You make fun of someone's hair, you have ugly hair.  You kill and you die.  Eventually people got the hint and they stopped being mean to each other and started making lots of chocolate and peanut butter fudge, which, of course, meant that THEY got chocolate and peanut butter fudge, which, in turn, caused God to institute a low-carb diet for all of mankind.  But if you think about it, this would work provided that God is the one who controls it and not man.


So there will probably be a few people who break the rules.  The challenge, though, would be in establishing and enforcing these rules.  For example, in some countries, it’s acceptable for the husband to kill the wife if she commits adultery. But if we had world peace, that wife-killing husband would be breaking the rules, thus requiring that whole country to adopt a whole new set of rules they’ve never had to live by.

We Need Rules and a Mack-Daddy Enforcer
So, someone must decide who gets to determine the rules?  Ask most Americans and they’ll insist on the United States as they believe the world revolves around them, the “World’s Superpower.”

But we’re talking about World Peace.  Somehow it just seems wrong to give governing world peace power to a country mostly because they have the biggest military and the most nuclear warheads and the most McDonalds restaurants. 

Ok, then, majority rules.  In mid-2003, China quadrupled the U.S. population, India more than tripled it, while Germany, France, the U.K., and Italy combined did not quite equal U.S.  Still, no way will the Americans and Europeans allow China or India to govern the world, thus preventing the biggest country or the country who has the most toys from having their social and societal norms become the rule.

The governing body will have to be an organization where all the nations come together, work out their differences, compromise, share ideas, eat ice cream cones (because people can't really fight and hate each other if they're all eating ice cream cones – try it sometime...  "You son of a...!  Oh wait, is this butter pecan?"), and ultimately come up with a set of rules mankind can live by.  Let’s assume that this organization works.  Let’s call it, “Team World Peace” just because I like to say “Team” followed by fun words.

Team World Peace
Team World Peace comes in and makes it happen.  The long-held dream of many a man actually comes to fruition.  We now have world peace.  Yippee!

But how could it happen?

If you watch children play, they are beautifully ignorant of race or religion or social status.  They don’t care what color Michael is nor could they give a crap that Isaac doesn’t celebrate Christmas.  “Does Marie throw the ball back to me?”  That’s what little Jimmy cares about.  (Of course, we'll have to ignore those times when Matthew steals Misty's crayons and refuses to give them back.)

In many regards, children (except for Matthew) are much wiser than adults.  In order to achieve world peace, humanity must place as top priorities only those things that are truly important.  Children, the younger the better, care only about the bottom line.  If a baby is hungry, it will cry and scream bloody hell until you stick a bottle in its mouth.  One moment – fuming, screaming anger; the next moment – blissful peace.  No grudges.  No bitter resentment. It is NOT important what exactly is the boundary line of a country.  It is NOT important as to the name or idea of someone’s supreme being.  It is not important that people dress differently, look differently, and have different customs. 

The Bottom Line
The bottom line is this: Are people happy?  Are people good to one another and to themselves? 

Is there really anything else? 

I’m going to WAY-generalize, but in order for someone to be happy, usually they must:
·        Have food
·        Have shelter
·        Have a sense of freedom
·        Have a say in what happens to them, their family, and their friends
·        And they must have a toy or two. 

I think that’s it.  Most everything a person might say they need in order to be happy can be broken down into one of those things.  (Ok, sex should somehow be in that formula, but then that would just complicate my simple little example.)

So, in order to achieve world peace, all we have to do is make sure people are happy and somehow instill in their minds that they must be good to one another and to themselves.  They must be childlike such that all things that are not absolutely essential are not given undue importance.

Does this mean that you must give up your flat screen TV and your picture-taking cell phone?  Nope.  I said it’s OK to have a toy or two as long as it’s not given undue importance and as long as you didn’t hurt anyone in the process of obtaining these devices.  So relax, you can still have antique furniture and vacations.

But Is It REALLY Possible?
There are many who believe world peace is a real possibility.  It’s been suggested that the scientific, technological, and communication advances occurring in just the last 50 years “portend a great surge forward in the social evolution of the planet, and indicate the means by which the practical problems of humanity may be solved. They provide, indeed, the very means for the administration of the complex life of a united world.”

In other words, we have the technical capability to administer and aid a world of peace.  And we have the education and intelligence to know right from wrong.  “Yet barriers persist. Doubts, misconceptions, prejudices, suspicions and narrow self-interest beset nations and peoples in their relations one to another.” (Source: “The Promise of World Peace”,

Let's Say it IS Possible

So Team World Peace did it.  They helped people become happy and have instilled in their minds that they must be good to one another and to themselves.  Yippee again!  We have world peace.  Everyone can now hug each other and rejoice and be merry and frolic on the beaches and in the grassy fields.

What if there truly did not exist war in this world?

God, or nature, or whatever you want to call it, likes to always incorporate this little idea of Balance.  Surely God, in His/Her/Its infinite wisdom, wouldn’t allow all this war and killing and non-peace to take place just because man has free will.  Surely non-peace also has a purpose.  Otherwise, we meager humans must admit that God is infinitely wise only part of the time.

Without war and hatred, the world population would soar, which could lead to:

  • Environmental problems
  • Overuse of our natural resources
  • New and treatment-resistant diseases
  • More starvation
  • Disastrously low levels of unpolluted fresh water
  • Increased air pollution
  • “Over-farmed” food-producing lands leading to even more malnutrition

And thus, instead of man killing man, nature’s continual need for balance would step in, the laws of nature will run their course and kill us off through famines, diseases, and violence.

Violence?  There’s not supposed to be violence during world peace.

If we had world peace, what would happen to the hundreds of millions of people worldwide whose livelihood, theirs and their families, are completely dependent upon the military?  Either they will not have a job or they will displace someone else who DOES have a job.  Either way, the world unemployment levels will increase to disastrous proportions.

Crime rate and violence in poverty areas is statistically higher.  So, world peace would lead to more crime and more violence.  The difference being that this time around, it isn’t government sanctioned.

But maybe there would be less crime and less violence if all that money spent on weapons and military personnel can be shifted and spent on peace-time production items.  In other words, all taxes and government revenue normally spent on the military would have to be shifted, basically, to welfare, feeding people, and housing all those without work.  So people would still have food and shelter.  They just wouldn’t have to pay for it.

But then, with all that extra idle time because far fewer people would have to work, both sexually-transmitted diseases and drug usage would increase.  With more drug usage comes more drug crime.  So, either we would have to accept more drug-related violence, which is so NOT in tune with this whole world peace idea, or we would have to legalize drugs.

So, world peace means we must legalize drugs. 

But legalizing drugs just isn't all that likely, even if it does somehow mean world peace. 

So, world peace means more drug-related violence.  And more sexually-transmitted diseases.  Dang.

There’s another problem with world peace…

Many, if not most, technological and scientific developments came to be ONLY as a result of a desire to create better weapons and a stronger army.  Had the military not seen the advantages flight had to offer on the battlefield, far less money would have been spent improving man’s ability to fly and the technology would've taken many years longer to develop.

The same can be said for the improvements of metal and steel, space exploration, nuclear power, food and farming, the textile industry, glass, plastics, and on and on and on.  Yes, these developments would definitely have happened, but how would the U.S. government justify spending millions on development of the luxury of rocket technology had the Germans not been shooting missiles in World War II?  As a result, we now have the ability to be with relatives who live a thousand miles away in just a matter of hours.  And we’re able to ship emergency replacement parts to the power station so that people will not lose electricity for the evening.

So, world peace means the speed at which technological developments occur would slow down, especially if so many consumers are without jobs thus reducing business' profits thus causing the research and development budgets to be cut. This slow down would be exponential, as well: little change at first, but over time technological growth would come to a standstill.

OK, Kids. Let's Review
Allow me to recap what world peace would bring to mankind:

  • World Peace SocietyLess (or no) brutality
  • Less killing
  • No more wars
  • No more racial cleansing
  • No more religious crusades
  • Understanding and acceptance of people's differences
  • Happiness and joy
  • Dramatically-increased world population
  • Environmental problems
  • Overuse of our natural resources
  • New and treatment-resistant diseases
  • More starvation
  • Disastrously low levels of unpolluted fresh water
  • Increased air pollution
  • “Over-farmed” food-producing lands leading to even more malnutrition
  • Famine
  • Far greater poverty and unemployment
  • Increased individual violence and crime rates
  • Fewer technological advances, decreasing at an exponential level

Have I left anything out?  I'm sure I have.  (Email me and I'll include your thoughts in this article.)

World Peace DeclarationSo, am I for world peace or am I not?

This is actually a tough question, now that I’ve thought about this in much more depth.  One way of looking at it is to answer this question: Which is a better way for mankind to die – through government-sanctioned war, bombs, and sophisticated weaponry or through starvation, famine, and disease?

Being the eternal optimist that I am, I would much rather have world peace and then take my chances with the latter, more “natural” ways of death.  If we could figure out a way to achieve world peace, chances are we could probably figure out a way to “combat” starvation, famine, and disease.

So let’s do it.

Let’s do everything we can to help others be happy and let’s work to instill in peoples’ minds that they must be good to one another and to themselves.

World Peace!  It's going to happen.




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