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44. The Long Awaited Possibility of World Peace

The history of humanity as one people is now beginning.

As an occasional public speaker on the subject of Peace, I became well used to scoffers, my own W.W.2 veteran father included, who maintained that war is in the nature of man; "...always has been, always will be". These attitudes served to uphold the apparently unreconcilable impasse that has long existed between North and South Korea. Prior to the event of the 2018 Olympic Games, much discussion centered around the possibility of the two nations walking together in the Games Parade of Nations. When I asked a South Korean friend for her thoughts on the matter, the reaction expressed scepticism but also a quiet yearning for the possibility. These sceptics were about to be confounded when the long-standing stalemate was followed by a previously unimaginable spectacle of both nations joyfully walking together as the Parade of Nations unfolded, enabling us all to share in the dream of a better world to come. The reality would later prove that such outward appearances of unity remained only a reflection of the possibilities. Yes, there is much to be achieved, but gradually, progressively, and despite the scoffers, the ideal of World peace is beginning to take on form and substance. "Obstacles and conflicts, apparently irreconcilable, are responding to processes of consultation and resolution. We see a growing willingness to counter military aggression with unified international action. A sense of hope for our collective future, one that had been almost extinguished, is awakening." ---Universal House of Justice, To the Peoples of the World, October 1985. Everywhere we can see signs, both intellectual and spiritual, that are responsive to the yearning of the peoples of the world for an end to our conflict, our suffering and ruin. These feelings call for a response that can be channelled into overcoming the remaining barriers that block our age-old dream of peace. But it also calls for an effort of will greater than mere appeals for action. We must develop a sense of the possibilities of human prosperity that are becoming reflected in both our spiritual and material well-being. The beneficiaries of this progress must be all of the planet’s inhabitants, without distinction; without the creation of unnecessary conditions that would only block the required scale of reorganization in our human affairs. Our past history has been primarily that of individual tribes, cultures, classes and nations. With increasing physical unification over past and present centuries, as reflected in the global reach of the internet, and the resulting interdependence that sustains it, the history of humanity as one people is now beginning. Our previous development as a species has been subject to long, slow and sporadic development. The civilizing of human character has been uneven, and especially inequitable in the material advantages it has conferred. With the new wealth of genetic and cultural diversity that our growing unity is releasing, we all share responsibility for the design of the future. What exciting possibilities lie ahead! Whether peace is to be reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity’s stubborn clinging to old patterns of behavior, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit the earth. At this critical juncture when the intractable problems confronting nations have been fused into one common concern for the whole world, failure to stem the tide of conflict and disorder would be unconscionably irresponsible. ---U.H.J., To the Peoples of the World, October 1985. Whether we fulfil that hope and achieve these possibilities peaceably, or only as a result of unprecedented disaster, is a choice we as a species are presently determining.


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