Humans have been living on this earth for about six million years. The first thing they experienced was the “struggle to exist”. It was the “competition between the living things to survive”. To solve these conflicts, violence was used as a tool. As they transitioned to their behavioral modernity, the conflicts worsened. Consequently, “the first war in recorded history took place in Mesopotamia in 2700 BCE”.
This was an official start of “war”. In the 4,700 years since then, war has continued.
Nations fight each other, usually following one rule of war: the stronger wins. Therefore, there is always a winner and a loser, but the thousands of dead bodies lying behind the scenes are never cared or mentioned.
Civilized humans established war rules such as protecting the innocent through the Geneva Conventions, but those laws were almost never obeyed; for example, even “civilized” countries like the United States are guilty of torture.
Thus, humans continued fighting until history became a narration of wars.
Today, the third millennials are living in an evolutionary period of the history of the world.
Today, history might be repeating and rhyming itself over with no caution.
I see Venezuelans being starved to death.
I see mass shootings in the safest countries around the world–like New Zealand, where more than 50 children and adults got killed in a mosque.
I see precious lives being lost.
I see a fear of terrorism.
I see a fear of nuclear war.
I see hatred.
I see ignorance.
And, I see non-humanity.
My homeland is one of the countries in which I see these things. It has been a victim of war for over 18 years. Therefore, I am fed up of all of this. Despite the despair and melancholy that dawned on me, I, too, have a dream.
I have a dream that my war-torn and lonely country would be stitched together one more time, over the wounds which have been festering.
I have a dream that its rain starts to pour and its rivers start to flow again,
The mountains would be silent without the rocket bombings and that the red-tinted streets would be no more.
I have a dream,
That the news would be of the peace and not of the deaths,
That the children would be sent out to schools and not locked in basements,
That they would make the kites fly, in a sky where not a single bullet tears them down.
I, too, have a dream,
That the dining table would be circled without anyone’s absence,
That the empty view of the daughter’s seat would not make the tears flow from the mother’s eyes,
That the hunger would not pinch the children from inside,
That this dream is and will be universal because every country and nation around the world should enjoy the peace I long for my country.
This dream will only come true if the effort and brain drained into making nuclear bombs to destroy each other would be poured into understanding each other. In humanizing each other.
Thankfully, it is not only me who longs for peace; there are many humans around the world who long for the same cause. These people created organizations in each country, working for peace and justice, but could not draw enough attention and support of people.
International peace organizations like the International Peace Bureau and UNESCO, work worldwide and have a chance of bringing proper attention on the problem, but the irony here is that those supranational organizations, specifically the United Nations, has not been successful yet either. To mention an instance, according to Fra William Shawcross in “Paving the Road to Hell”, United Nations released documents of confession on their peacekeeping operation in Rwanda that the “UN stood by as Hutu (an extremist group) slaughtered some 800,000 Tutsi (African ethnic group).”
Peace is left as a dream.
After thinking about my dreams for years, I started thinking about the other side of the case. Imagine the world being the most peaceful planet in this universe. Imagine people living in harmony. “Then what?” I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be a boring life?” What kind of world would that be with no struggle and conflict?
Isn’t war part of nature?
But, who am I to ask such questions? It should not be me judging about the return of peace while sitting on a comfortable chair beside my window in a warm room. I do not have the right to answer the question “so what?” when my stomach is full and my body is protected. People who think they are unprivileged for not getting an expensive brand product do not have the credibility to answer such questions.
The ones answering these questions should be the individuals who are not anywhere close to owning a single privilege. Ask a young girl in a war-torn country to “imagine peace is here, so what?” Ask the hungry person how much he wants food. Ask the sick and injured how much they want to get healed. Ask the one living under a tent in winter how much he wants warmth. Ask the parents how many lost children they want back.
For the same reason, history has recorded the mistakes and acts as evidence to the generations coming, for them not to step on the same footprints. It reminds them, almost too explicitly, that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said.
Yes, peace extends its meaning beyond just stopping the bombings. Living in peace means to live in harmony, equity, and justice.
Today, this generation can record history as it has never been recorded before.
Bring peace to every corner of this world.
Usually, they ask how?
I say as Bob Dylan said: “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.”