That’s not a great record for humans, especially those last two world wars. What triggers such conflict? What is the foundation that begets war? I feel it is a lack of imagination, understanding, empathy and altruism.
Where are the philosophical maxims in everyday life that define a more noble understanding?:
- “There but for you go I.”
- “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.”
- “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
- “Walk a mile in another’s shoes.”
These sayings all exhort us to imagine, understand, acknowledge our mutual dependencies and common fate, while the myth-creation of “Us versus Them” separates us and leaves us with our prejudices and inclination towards violence.
My solution to human relations? Travel. Yes, to be subsidized by governments and donations. When traveling, people wouldn’t stay in hotels, they’d stay with families, on farms and in residences, where interaction is the point. This would be a world-wide program involving people of all countries.
Why? Everyone who travels in this program would have several days or weeks to be immersed in a completely different culture and see life and society and family love at play from a new perspective. An opportunity to embrace the understanding that we are all the same with the same needs, only the details are different.
Mark Twain has a great quote:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s life.”
If peace always follows conflict, then let’s find the shortest distance between these two points and bypass the nasty middle part. If the international citizenry is enlightened about other cultures and ways of life, then the chance for Peace on Earth is so much more than a wish. It’s peace from the individual on up.