This I Believe

Marty - Flowery Branch, Georgia
Entered on June 23, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe we can achieve world peace in our lifetimes. My heart sank after 9/11 as I watched the anger and sadness slowly shift to war. Where did my beliefs fit into this world? My opinions on non violence were openly mocked, scorned and denigrated. There are angry people out there in the world who hate us and are coming to kill us-men, women and children alike. There are people who believe their personal anger deserves the right of expression through violence. These people are on both sides armed and have faced each other for centuries. Is it possible to believe rationally in world peace?

On a day to day basis for decades I have tried to make the world a kinder place to live by doing no harm and trying to be nicer than I was the day before. I am not alone in this gesture. I have also studied history and know that wars happen frequently and usually contain the seeds of the next one. As the war against terror progressed I saw that the circle had started to come around yet again. People are now considering peace again-seriously. Each cycle usually brings vocal soldiers to the front of this issue. These are soldiers who have fought-they know why the goal is real. With the onset of world technology people now have the ability to communicate almost immediately. Many people are expressing a desire to finally end war and the expense and destruction that comes with it.

The history of national killing now includes biological, nuclear and very high explosive compounds which will rapidly pass into the hands of just about anyone. These devices and the struggle to use them will, I feel, be used within our lifetimes in provoking even more cycles of ancient hatred whose spread will eventually cover the whole globe. The price in lives can only

grow. At the same time people have become aware that the use of these weapons may kill them even though they are not participants in the conflict. As a species we are beginning to desire to reign in the crazy leaders among us. We seem to have the ability to export hatred and war but not peace and

non violence. This is a choice and has consequences.

My conclusion is that is time for the species to pick a date and declare peace. There are few who disagree in concept but leaders-political and religious- fail to appear. The potential consequences grow almost daily and everyone holds to the old way. War is acceptable and will always be

with us. For the first time in history it is possible to name a date and flash that date around the world.

I believe that the history of our species is leading us to a time when war will have ceased and never again be repeated. I believe we are fully capable of achieving this goal in our lifetimes. The date is 100 years from my birthday February 14, 2048. We may never lick personal violence

but I firmly believe we can achieve world peace. We might have to declare war a few more times to fully learn the lesson but we can learn it. The cost of waiting will be born by the innocent. I hope those innocents are not people you know-but they may have to be-for you to finally support the idea of a world at peace. The price of failing to act will be higher than most are willing to pay but the outcome will be historic and permanent.

There is nothing more important to believe in or work for; I believe together we can do this. There has been historical punctuation used before-look at space travel, medicine and communication. Now is the time to put a period at the end of the sentence that began a long time ago and has to

end. Demand it of your leaders today.