While there are possibly hundreds of thousands of us who are working on the ground in various ways and through various channels and organizations trying to prevent and resolve conflicts between the myriad groups that make up our society, and humanity as a whole, there are also many others who are busy sowing the seeds of discontent and disharmony among the peoples, and even among nations. While human history is replete with conflicts, wars, genocides and all forms of atrocities which continue until now, we are also comforted by the good deeds of peacemakers and benevolent, compassionate and munificent individuals, leaders and luminaries of the past and present.
A casual survey of the state of the world will reveal that almost every country has ongoing internal conflicts between various factions of its populace. These may have arisen from differences in their political or religious beliefs, racial interests, economic or business considerations, or just plain attitude problems. There are indeed people who are pathological trouble-makers. Then there are many ongoing conflicts between nations, with a superpower taking it upon itself to become the global police and initiated or got involved in so many wars, and threatening to start several more. In addition, we are faced with sufferings from natural disasters, famines, diseases, accidents and other calamities. Life is indeed stressful!
After thousands of years since Man first walked on this earth, we have never had complete peace. Followers of the Abrahamic faiths (Jews, Christians and Muslims) are reminded that a son of father Adam had murdered his brother out of jealousy. And humans have never stopped quarreling and killing one another since then! I wonder if the other religions also have similar stories about the first human beings.
So, is peace just an elusive dream? Are we wasting our time in pursuing this unachievable goal?
While we humans are doing all sorts of mischief on this earth, GOD is ever watching and in complete control of what is happening. Why then does GOD not give us peace? Why doesn’t HE wipe out evil from this earth, and from our lives? I will share the perspective of a Muslim, which I am sure will be similar to the understanding of many other faiths.
GOD wants us to be at peace with HIM, by knowing and understanding HIM, and obeying HIS advice, guidance and commandments. By doing so, we will also be at peace within ourselves, with all the people in our lives, and with the world at large. The commandment is that we start with ourselves. Then we are to bring as much goodness, happiness, and peace around our lives, as is humanly possible.
As the story of the wise man goes, we cannot change the world, but we can certainly change ourselves, and the world around us will start changing. Likewise, Ghandi said that we must be the change we want to see in the world.
GOD does not necessarily look at results only. HE is more interested in the best and most sincere efforts. The outcome is HIS to decide. Who deserves and who does not deserve peace are beyond our knowledge and wisdom, as we do not know what goes in the hearts and minds of other people. We should continue our peace-efforts regardless of the outcomes, as peace itself is not our ultimate aim, but it is to obey and please our Creator. If indeed HE gives us peace in the world, then we should be most thankful. If HE does not, we should still be thankful to HIM for giving us the wisdom to understand that HE has good reasons for denying it. And we should be thankful to HIM for giving us peace within, in spite of all the unrest around us.
It is for this reason that I will continue my peace-work with commitment, determination and passion, and I hope you will also continue with the same vigor.
On the good side, both Christians and Muslims are waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ (Prophet Isa, peace be upon him, to the Muslims) who will wipe out evil and start an era of total peace (again, I wonder what other religions predict about the future). But until that happens, we will have to continue our peace-work with passion and conviction, in order to serve GOD, and to serve humanity.
May Peace prevail on Earth!
With loving Greetings,