Hold on to Peace - Image courtesy Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Hold on to Peace - Image courtesy Ira Mitchell-Kirk

Monday, 12 December 2011

Another Point of View

I make no secret that the paint brush and the pen are my weapons of choice in the quest for peace. Occasionally I struggle with the concept of using weapons that kill in this important and huge battle. Peacekeeping is an admirable occupation, but how far can one go with the definition of a peace-keeping army? When do peace keepers become oppressors and killers? I am not sure that I have a definite opinion on this; I do not like force at all, and am afraid of guns in any situation, yet I have many friends whom I respect who are in uniform and carry weapons. Their choice is not my choice, but our aims are the same.

This Ted speech, by the Chief of Defence of the Netherlands Army, is a clear and logical explanation of why some choose the gun as a weapon in the fight for peace. (The video runs for 18 minutes. If you don't have time to listen to all of it right now, I suggest you let it run through and then watch from minute 8 onwards). The gun, as explained by Peter van Uhm, the highest military commander in Holland, can also be seen as a weapon of peace. He supports his argument with some interesting statistics.

Peter van Uhm, Chief of Defence, Netherlands, from 2008 to present. (Photo from internet, Nato image).

What weapon do you choose? And are you an active campaigner for peace? If, like me, you do not choose the gun, then have you chosen a weapon that suits you, and are you using it in what is the greatest battle of all, the battle for peace, for freedom from oppression, for a more equitable distribution of the world's resources?

I urge you to be active, making positive change in your every day lives. Don't wait for special occasions, for commemorations and other events. Every day we have opportunities to make a difference. If we change, those around us change.

Change in the family and community, no matter how small, is positive change for a positive future. Just as each little drop of water can meld with others to form a puddle and then a lake, each peaceful community can join with others to form a peaceful nation. Each nation can join with others...

In this era of instant communication we CAN make a difference. But only if we act. Choose your "weapon" for peace, be it as personal as your smile or as public as the internet, and use it every day.

1 comment:

  1. A response to the speech in this link contained these words:

    "How naive he still is, after burying his son (23) who was killed in Afghanistan. Violence isn't a solution for peace. Never was, never will be".

    The person who brought the speech to my attention wrote "Here is a thoughtful, quite brilliant, speech by the Chief of Staff of the Netherlands Army".

    It concerns me that there has been no real debate. Yes it is almost Christmas. Yes, people are busy. But too busy to debate how we can achieve peace? I hope not.