By Melissa Martin
There’s a certain gift that most of us want. We desperately seek it. We long for it. We ask for it every Christmas and even throughout the year.
Mothers cry for it. Fathers plead for it. Human rights activists dedicate their lives to it. Faith-based people pray for it.
Soldiers fight and die for this gift. Leaders of democratic countries support this gift. Civilians in authoritarian countries hope for this gift.
This gift cannot be wrapped up in a box with a silver bow. This gift cannot be found under a decorated tree or under the mistletoe. This gift is not in Santa’s bag.
Since the beginning of time, this gift has eluded humanity. Many have lived and many have died for this gift. But war, genocide, and murder continue around the globe. Conflict is constant with war and without war.
The gift is peace on earth. I’m sure you’re not surprised. World peace is a salient mantra.
“A world war is a war involving many of the world’s countries or most of the most powerful and populous ones. World wars span multiple countries on multiple continents, with battles fought in multiple theatres. The term is applied to the two major international conflicts that occurred during the twentieth century: World War I (1914–1918) and World War II (1939–1945).” (www.jstor.org)
“We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.” —Jimmy Carter
The average level of global peacefulness improved very slightly on the 2019 Global Peace Index (GPI). Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008, followed by New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world, followed by Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq. (www.visionofhumanity.org)
“Only people over 75 years of age can remember a world without nuclear weapons — a world before humans could end life on earth as we know it in a few hours. The possession of nuclear weapons by a few poses a threat to all. During the Cold War, the nuclear weapons race between the United States and the Soviet Union was rooted in a doctrine appropriately called MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). This doctrine was based on the idea that possession of enough nuclear weapons to kill everyone in an enemy country would deter that country from attacking. But since nuclear weapons can still be used for offense, people will still feel threatened.” — a 2018 article in the International Journal of World Peace.
“Let us bring equality, justice, and peace for all. Not just the politicians and the world leaders, we all need to contribute. Me. You. It is our duty.” — Malala Yousafzai, 2014 Nobel Prize Winner.
There are nine countries with nuclear weapons: Russia, the U.S., France, China, the U.K., Pakistan, India, Israel, and North Korea. According to the Arms Control Association, Iraq initiated a secret nuclear programme under Saddam Hussein before the 1991 Persian Gulf War.
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” — Jimi Hendrix
Pray to God for the gift of peace on earth.
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in the United States.
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