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Markus Stocker

Between information technology and environmental science with a flair for economics, the clarinet, and the world of soups and salads.

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Do we strive enough for peace?

By we, I mean humans, women and men. By peace, I mean a feeling that our own one-to-self, one-to-one, one-to-many relationships are healthy, balanced or - plain and simply - OK.

Personally, I don’t think we generally aspire for peace as much as we ought to. I believe, the secret is, not to strive for peace does backfire and gnaw at our own health.

If we look at macro systems - societies, governments, industries - I think we are currently walking down a road for which it is once again clear that we don’t, strive for peace. Read Mark Danner’s Tales From Torture’s Dark World (Amy Goodman’s interview with Mark Danner, and, in Italian, thoughts on the topic of a friend of mine), ask yourself whether or not applying “an alternative set of procedures” (i.e. torture) balances relationships and then whether or not such an act improves US, as well as global, health. Or follow the methodology of pressure, threat and sanctions of an international organization, the OECD, to push through interests. Or. Or. Or. You may agree or disagree with the difference between tax fraud and evasion. You may or may not appreciate the freedom of strong personal responsibility of a people in a country. You may denounce a terroristic act or feel, directly or indirectly, responsible for it. Whatever we believe, I think it is clear that by responding as we typically do, i.e. not acknowledging our deep need, and accordingly strive, for peace, we only harm our own health.

If we look at micro systems - families, friendships, romantic or professional relationships - it’s the same picture, I believe. A family living next to my parents house is breaking up. Even though I don’t have a clear picture on what went wrong, I’m quite sure they didn’t strive for peace. Ironically, I believe, they both exactly know, they are so in need for peace. You feel it on your own skin, how the imbalance degrades your health and you see it in your children’s eyes how it daily gnaws at their upbringing. But, by hook or by crook, we typically don’t strive for peace. In my own micro system, I recently experienced a similar situation, in which repeated calls for peace just bounced off stubborn walls. Undue angst and helplessness on how to overcome it, is what sticks if we don’t strive for peace.

I’m not saying, terrorism has to be ignored or we should support tax evasion. I’m not saying, there ought not to be divorce, or layoffs without notice or romance breakup. Such things are natural, mostly necessary and typically less dramatic as they appear. I believe, we are also allowed to react upset and angry. However, what has to prevail is the pursuit of peace. At stake is balance, our own and our fellow’s health.

Nothing comes for free and peace is not an exception. Arrogance is not a solution. Shutting down is not a solution. I believe, our best shot is communication. Granted, we need to master it. Though, as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It certainly is hard work, as well as, necessary.

But what can you do if your calls just bounce off stubborn walls? Perhaps, with the precision and determination of Italo Calvino’s words, we ought to perpetually strive after lightness as a reaction to the weight of living.

I wish you, dear reader, the lightness of a soul in peace.