Organized armed conflict has been a thorn in our side for so long it seems like we're more inclined to limp around with the pain rather than plucking it out entirely. So ingrained is the institution of war that to even discuss the idea of peace can really bring out the pessimist in all of us.
But when we consider the amazing potential of the human spirit combined with the incredible rate at which humankind is progressing, could it be that world peace is sitting right on our doorstep and we don't even know it? Forget waiting centuries! Maybe the lofty goal of ending all of earth's major conflicts is doable within the decade.
Contrary to what many believe, data suggests humanity is already living in a golden age of peace, as the number of recorded war deaths has consistently declined over the past century. This means the world today is already the most peaceful it has ever been... and this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Human society is now advancing forward at such phenomenal speeds, with new breakthroughs being discovered sooner and sooner. Technologies which would seem magical just 20 years ago, like nano-sized medical robots or 3-D printers (devices worth Googling if you've never heard of them), will likely become commercially available in 5 to 10 years.
Not only is our rate of technological progress skyrocketing, so too are our societies evolving at unprecedented rates. Sweeping reforms are taking place all over the world, as evident by the widespread demonstrations sprouting up on every continent.
Humankind is harnessing the Internet to magnify the collective voice of the global village, giving us the means to counterbalance earth's most wealthy and influential entities. We'll be able to leverage this power of solidarity to fundamentally alter the way the system works, thereby removing the inherent violence of an unjust economic model.
Uniting as a species will not only give regular people great political clout, it will also reveal how, by allowing wars to happen, we've only been fighting and hurting ourselves. Once we see members of foreign nations not as threats, but as part of our own extended family, we'll begin to hold our governments accountable for the suffering they inflict upon our brothers and sisters overseas.
Letting our leaders know we no longer want war will be a great step, but another key to peace will be to strip the grease which lubricates the war machine, namely, the billions in profit generated annually by the military industrial complex. Like a giant class action suit - Humankind V. War-Profiteers – we'll work together to systematically eliminate the financial incentives which encourage the perpetuation of war.
As with anything in life, there's no certainty in our future. Yet with each passing moment, the potential of attaining peace gets higher and higher. Pretty soon, even the most staunch pessimist may be pleasantly surprised to find world peace sitting perched on the porch, just waiting for us to open the door and let it in.
ABOUT RICK DICKINSON
Rick Dickinson is the founder of the WorldPeaceIsComing.com Project, and muses daily at http://www.u4ya.ca/blog. The goal of the WorldPeaceisComing.com Project is to share a hopeful yet realistic vision that, as long as enough people want to make it happen, humankind can abolish large scale conflicts by 2020. Dare to dream!