Is World Peace an Illusion?

William M. Akin IV

Is world peace actually achievable, or is it simply an illusion? Well, to understand the belief and structure of world peace, one must understand the idea of peace. Peace is the concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. However, does this concept of the ideal happiness state fit along all humans and nations on our planet Earth?

Some parts of the world have their citizens’ protection and their overall calmness to a sustainable level. According to the Global Peace Index Report, “In 2016, 81 countries in the world became more peaceful as shown by their improving peace indices. But this positive impact is nullified by 79 countries that became less peaceful or were struck by war, terrorism or conflict in the last year.” However, other parts of the world may not be in harmony with one another and tend to clash with staying tranquil and civil.

Several people and many idealists believe that achieving world peace is in fact possible. According to Dennis Morgan of Hankuk University Foreign Studies, “…only when humans learn to live in harmony with their environment and each other, the principles of nonviolence can be activated in a very real way. In such an environment, killing becomes unthinkable.” Some say that we as a people are making up for our violent ways and slowly coming more and more together.

Harvard psychologist, Steven Pinker, says that “We’ve figured out things like the rule of law, and an international community, and ideals of non-violence, that can… kind of chip away at our tendency toward violence.” Some people see this world prospering for the better. They believe we are trying to right our wrong doings with good causes and more empathetic behaviors.

Nevertheless, there are others who don’t believe in the totality of world peace and think there are many problems with today’s people and society.

Over 3,700 people in the last three years have been shot to death by the police in just the United States alone, according to Statista.

Just on this past Monday, an African American man by the name of Walter Wallace was fatally gunned down by police, according to the Wall Street Journal. The police officers on the scene saw a knife in his hand and deemed it as a threat to them. Even though Walter was in the middle of a mental health crisis, the armed policemen didn’t take that into account when they decided to shoot him, ultimately ending his life.

It is very difficult to see a world with peace embedded in it while these cruel and unjust events are happening right in our own neighborhoods.  

And just last week, there were killings of activists protesting against police brutality in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos. This past Tuesday alone, there had been 38 protesters killed, according to human rights group Amnesty International. Even with people trying to exercise their basic human right of protesting in a peaceful manner, peace was not brought back onto them.

Protesters in Lagos, Nigeria

How can there be world peace when non-violent protests turn into attacks, killings, and chaos?

Even though there is no clear-cut answer and solution to achieving total world peace, I believe some things can be done to rationalize some of our wrongs in our communities.

I believe change and new order needs to be implemented in our governments and our higher ranked officials, so that innocent citizens don’t have to die and can feel safe to walk the streets and voice their opinions. World peace seems like a reality, but is really a dream we all chase endlessly.

One action isn’t going to get the job done. It takes everyone coming together, all ages and races and nationalities, to really strive toward a better future for our communities and future generations. World peace might be a dream, but giving up would be inadequate. People all across the globe have to eventually be on one accord so that maybe one day, world peace can start seeming more like a reality.

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