A far from peaceful debate, though with slightly more convergence around barriers to peace than we saw regarding desirability or actions for peace.
There were clearly different schools of thought – the peaceniks and the economists for one.
The most strongly supported statements throughout the discussion was about the challenge of peace (less appealing than polarity):
- It brings focus to be against something. A sense of unity. Easier to agree on what we hate than what we love
Building on the earlier statement:
- Polarity give us a feeling of safety or of “righteousness” it is clearer to see what one stands for.
As a new feature we had “guest” participants – relevant quotes from a range of well known people. Not all of them went down well, but top performers were
- “When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” Peace Pilgrim
- “Without conflict, there is no progress or change.” Marx
- “As I have said, the first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.” Nelson Mandela
- “If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another.” Dalai Lama
And these views were reflected in our conclusions at the end of the debate:
- more than ever we need leaders who are able to move the crowd in an ethical way
- funny he we talk about world peace and yet our own peace over Xmas is a challenge
- I like the comment that peace requires “material and cultural equilibrium” bit this may be the start of a possible solution!
Barriers to peace – religion, poverty and ignorance
Before we got there though, we considered why peace is so elusive – what gets in our way?
- Religion was an early suspect: Or power struggles USE religious beliefs to generate loyalty
- And poverty: how can you feel peace in your heart when you are hungry every day
- Lack of guidance: Who teaches children about peace? parents, schoolteachers, priests, etc: – not many of them
- And greed: We don’t want to be equal, we are greedy to be better off than average. So we encroach on each other
As usual, at the end of the debate we considered the actions we could take personally. In the course of the discussion, some developed an appetite for peace action:
- There is still time to do something for peace in 2010! 15 more days!
- Support charities working for peace!
- In the home / workplace / community / traffic jam I might try to notice when I’m taking a polarity position instead of a wholeness one
- make peace with one of my enemies
- I am buying peace as my xmas presents