The media is focused on the drama and fear of power struggles. The revolution of which I speak is not a power struggle, it has no single leader, and it’s occurring in small group conversations. The ship of fear and control is slowly being abandoned. We are about to witness a cultural leap into fearlessness, and the media will soon lose its influence.
We are no longer limited to life as victims. We have been empowered to take responsibility for our role in shaping the culture in which we live. We have been gifted with the opportunity to subvert the domination system with the power of imagination. Our struggle is no longer with an external “enemy,” our struggle is to imagine ourselves using our innate ability to communicate honestly and openly, to use our vulnerability to get our needs met, to transcend our fear of other people. This is our gift to the world. This is the revolution which will turn the world upside down, for the better.
When we imagine ourselves being fearless in genuine relationships with other people, when we escape from the fantasies about how dangerous other people might be — how they need to be controlled, dominated, or even eliminated — there is no struggle, there is only surrender to a wonderful sense of belonging, trust, and safety. Is that not what we all really want, anyway? Are we willing to try something different: creating power with others instead of over them, surrendering to the needs of the greater good of all instead of clinging to the egotistical needs of the individual?
This is the most promising way, it seems to me, for us to achieve world stability and security, otherwise known as “peace.” When we decide to give up fighting for control, struggling for hegemony, or opposing everyone who is not in agreement with us, we become a global stabilizing influence. On the face of it, our culture will tell us this is not a “rational” course of action because it doesn’t fit with the familiar, short-term goals of win-lose. Yet on deeper examination of long-term goals (i.e., what is good for the seventh generation?), the strategy of win-win and cooperation makes the most sense. Do we really have any choice? The winner in a win-lose paradigm automatically becomes a victim of their own self-isolation, and they have lost the joy, wonder, and power of people working together in community.
We can change history so that peace is no longer impossible, it becomes inevitable. In 1982 Milton Friedman said “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.” It is like building a birdhouse. When the space is ready, the dove of peace arrives. Today, the space for conflict resolution without violence has been researched, tested and designed. When we share a detailed vision of steps towards peace, and each step follows a logical sequence, then the visions of war and violence begin to lose their validity.
I see that we are in an upward spiral of knowledge and abilities that will establish something like a Department of Peace, to promote the healthy growth and development of children worldwide; prosperity and safety for adults; as well as cooperative learning and problem-solving. Such genius will flower that sometime in the future as we look back at the current state of humanity, it will seem as if we were like the dodo, and we will wonder why and how we were saved from extinction. Can you imagine that?
Can you IMAGINE a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence promoting family harmony with domestic violence prevention programs; reducing school violence with conflict resolution education; creating safer cities by diverting gangs into productive activities; reducing drug and alcohol-related violence; building cultural understanding among differing racial, sexual orientation and ethnic groups at home and abroad;
returning prisoners to full economic and civic participation with true rehabilitation and restorative justice programs; educating us about the effects of violence in the media; increasing police-community harmony; preventing violence to animals; creating a Nonviolent Peace Force to intervene before conflict becomes violent; graduating experts in conflict resolution from a 4-year Peace Academy; reducing battlefield casualties by ending violence quickly; providing alternatives to armed conflict to the President and Congress; facilitating international cooperation to eliminate nuclear weapons; reducing conflict over resources by promoting sustainable technology; advocating post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation; monitoring levels of desperation, the root cause of violence, around the world; supporting international agreements and investments that promote human rights, economic inclusion in world markets, equitable distribution of resources; in short, elevating nonviolence to be the primary conflict resolution strategy?
The design is ready, let’s build it.
The really important things don’t happen in space and time, they happen in our hearts. Think with your heart, Peace is waiting for you there. Give yourself to Peace, and you become the Gift. Your Gift is the breath that blows the seed of passionate Love to Earth.