8/19/2021 10:47:33 PM
Finding the lost peace
A newborn baby comes to the world with the hope of the support of an angel, but this angel is killed moments before its birth. A child is sitting in a corner and crying silently, thinking of the chocolate ice cream that his parents might buy for him when their fight is ended. Another child is daydreaming about the school and his friends in the few minutes that the bombardments are shut down. A teenager is drawing her dream house while she is shaking and her stomach is growling. A young man has just woke up from his sweet dream of occupying his dream job and marrying the girl that he loves into the reality that he was homeless.
There is a common thing in these scenarios, lack of peace. What is peace?
Calmness, tranquility, happiness, freedom from disturbance, love, friendship, fairness, and justice.
Lack of peace is not a new issue it existed with the conflict of Cain and Abel, the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or even the cold war.
Does it mean that we should leave everything as it is because it seems that this is a primary issue linked to the human nature?
Certainly not, humans are complex creatures consisting of emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Humans can be kind, as well as evil depending on what they face.
As mentioned by James in 1910 war is an opportunity for human beings to express their spiritual tendencies toward personal honor and self-sacrifice, thus to end war societies must replace these profound moral values with equivalent alternatives. (1)
But is this possible, if it was so, psychologists would not have searched for other paths to afford peace in later years!
This time psychologists tried to solve the problem from its roots.
Conflict is the main cause preventing the occurrence of peace. Now how is a conflict created? As far as differences exist between humans, no matter whether it was in their appearance, thoughts and ideas, behaviors, or even needs conflicts appear.
As argued by Allport (1954) conflicts elevate as soon as one starts to ignore his enemies; contact between groups of conflict might reduce enmity and prejudice. (2)
This was not an effective method too, as the school desegregation strategy that aimed for reducing racism had mixed results when it was applied in the USA schools.
Should we give up and embrace our peaceless world?
Definitely not, because peace psychologists strived to find out a better way of reaching out to a peaceful world.
We usually have two types of peace, negative peace, and positive peace. The former one originates from the conflicts that are turned into violence and could be shortened to wars. While, the latter one originates from inequality, for example when there are some people in hunger while others are in the profusion of sources.
It's quite easier to go through the negative peace as it's reachable by negotiations and interactive problem-solving (IPS). Something that the united nations tried when dealing with some of the International conflicts.
Despite the positive peace that is hardly solved because it's closely connected to economic and political corruption.(3) As soon as the individual benefits are considered and as soon as humans make mistakes in their judgments positive peace won't be completely accessible. This does not mean to give up and stop attempting to reach positive peace! We won't reach 100 but we can at least try to get 90.
How can we accomplish peace? Stay tuned for our upcoming issues to discover them!
By: Kawthar Mohamed
The manager of the UJA Team and the founder of NEGOA Interest Group
1- James, W. (1995). The moral equivalent of war. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, 1, 17–26. (Original work published 1910)
2- Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: AddisonWesley.
3-Christie DJ, Tint BS, Wagner RV, Winter DD. Peace psychology for a peaceful world. Am Psychol. 2008 Sep;63(6):540-52. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.63.6.540. PMID: 18793041.