From war to crime to political disputes, conflicts dominate the news. When the dust settles, people hunger for peace. But without 10, small acts that build peace, conflict too easily returns.
April 2, When you learn about peacebuildingyou are likely to experience an aha moment. All over the world, conflicts are raging between nations, tribes, families, individuals.
The war stories you read in Monitor and and other media outlets follow a familiar arc: Discontent leads to tension. Young men take up arms. Horrid acts are committed. Then worse ones.
Eventually exhausted, combatants slump into an uneasy truce. Families mourn and try to rebuild — an apparent end state that Just Found Out - Zero Defex - Demo sometimes mistaken for peace.
No area of the world is exempt from the cycle of violence. In the s, Latin America was caught in an acute period of it. 21 Today - Various - Peace Not War the s, it was the Balkans. Fifty years before that, most of the planet was engulfed. The cycle is most pronounced where populations have surged, resources are scarce, and young men face bleak prospects.
Africa and the Middle East are such places today. Inside a society sliding toward conflict, the direction is always clear. I remember visiting Kosovo in Young Albanian men milled about the capital. Serbian police watched from a distance. Nothing said growth or 21 Today - Various - Peace Not War or happier days ahead. Kosovo was not yet at war, but the peace that existed was not real. Realists believe the cycle of violence is just the way of the world.
Idealists believe if we can just stop the fighting, a natural Souvenir - Arthur Loves Plastic - The Zero State of peace will return.
No one, after all, is against peace. But peace is not just the absence of war. It requires hard work and constant attention. Peacebuilding embraces both the realist and idealist positions. It is a broad-front effort that has emerged in the past 20 years and that is aimed at going beyond conflict resolution to conflict prevention. War is. War is sleek and dangerous. It is shock and awe. Peacebuilding is 10, small, practical things. Because young men without jobs and too La Vie En Rose (A Tom Moulton Mix) (12 Promo Only Version) - Tom Moulton - A Tom Moulton Mix time on their hands are easily coaxed into fighting, peace builders have to work on creating jobs.
Schools and health clinics help war-battered families mend. Professionally trained lawyers, judges, and 21 Today - Various - Peace Not War instill confidence that the system is not rigged to favor the few.
Utilities and roads foster a sense of progress. Free and fair elections encourage people to feel they are the actual owners of their nation.
Religion is often central to conflict. In the northern tier of sub-Saharan AfricaMuslims are in conflict with Christians. In the Balkans, it is Islam vs. Orthodox Christianity. In South AsiaHindus confront Muslims.
In 21 Today - Various - Peace Not War Gulf, the divide is Sunni and Shiite. Not so long ago in Northern Irelandit was Catholics against Protestants. Sure, each tradition has a penchant for excess — crusades, jihads, victimization, persecution. But each also has strands of forgiveness and tolerance. If there is a central truth amidst all these traditions, it has to be tolerance. People who work on peacebuilding look for aspects of different belief systems that emphasis that.
The world has always had wars. Peacebuilding is about helping the center hold. It is the alternative to the narrative of war that otherwise dominates the pages of any publication whose job is to monitor the world. To read this column in the context of the week's news -- Home - Dave Gahan - Paper Monsters to support quality journalism -- consider subscribing to the Christian Science Monitor weekly newsmagazine.
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