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"Why Peace Fighters Cannot Find Peace!"

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

The state of the world has taken a turn for the worse in the last weeks.

Attacking sovereign nations has become possible again, governments deciding to invest billions in their armies and the polarisation of peoples opinions nears an all time high.

Not to forget that we still have a global pandemic going on, where we have no clue what variant awaits us next autumn. A pandemic that changed our way of interacting with each other dramatically and split our society in “for” and “against”.

To make the picture complete, we have a rapidly deteriorating climate crisis, with killer storms and floods, dominating the thoughts of millions of people.

It is not the first time humanity faces perceived insurmountable difficulties, but it is the first time that we are globally connected when we do.

This connectedness can either amplify the fear, anger and hatred or it can create a global movement of people ready to look for peace where we can really find it.

So, where can we find this peace?

If history teaches us anything, it is that we cannot fight for it!

First things first, It is of utmost importance that we do not confuse “fight for peace” with “fight for freedom and survival”. The fight for survival and freedom is the prerogative of every human. Unfortunately survival and freedom do rarely lead to sustainable peace, especially when we define peace not only as the absence of war but as the presence of understanding and compassion.

Coming back to the glorified “fight for peace” and let’s take a look at how it failed during the last century.

Between 1914 and 1918, the allied forces fought for peace in the trenches of the Somme and Verdun, won, then imposed an agonising peace treaty, driven by the feelings of hatred and revenge, on the German people and at the same time sowing the frustration and humiliation allowing Hitler to rise. This culminated in the second world war, where again we fought for peace just to end up with a cold war lasting 50 years, dominated by the fear of total annihilation.

And yes, maybe because of the eve of a new millenium, we had a decade believing that a world without fighting for peace is possible. And then 9/11 happened and we fought for peace against terrorism, and now there is despotism and we fight for peace again…..

I say NO to this perverse worldview where we believe that we can fight for peace. Do we not see the obvious contradiction?

How can we make peace with others, when we are not making peace within ourselves?

Making real peace starts by “being peace”.

When “Being peace” we look inside ourselves and get aware of all of our dark spots preventing us from finding quietude, for example: the suppressed hatred towards the co-worker who got the promotion we desired or simply the casually expressed words of anger in daily traffic.

“Being peace” does NOT mean to indulge into the same feeling of hatred, arrogance, anger as the ones we supposedly oppose.

“Being peace” is about embracing our own shortcomings and loving them for what they are, a remnant of our past, inflicted by external conditioning.

“Being peace” is about loving others for their “Being” not their “doing”. We do not have to agree with what somebody does and still love her/his eternal “Being”

“Being peace” is about understanding that we are all connected and that what I wish for somebody else I wish for myself.

Only when we really “are peace”, can we find and create peace around us and successfully address the perceived insurmountable challenges humanity is facing now.

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison.” - Nelson Mandela

Marco Houwen |


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