I think that war breaks out because two or more classes of people espouse differing idea and ideals.
And they go to war in order to assert their right to hold onto those ideas.
The conflict now raging between Israel and Palestine is, in many ways, centuries old. It’s about ideas of faith, religion, God, and nationhood. It’s about heritage, tradition, and ownership.
The mistake is to think that war can ever solves those ideas.
You can torture, threaten, and kill people. But you cannot kill the ideas that get passed from generation to generation and people continue to live and die for.
What we have to do is create a new and better idea and be united in our commitment to it.
The UN was created because peace became the dominant idea after World War Two. At the time, the idea was like a breath of fresh air.
But conflicts have continued and new ideas have been needed.
In South Africa there was an idea of difference and separation. That was until Nelson Mandela and his friends and supporters came along and presented a new and more positive and appealing idea – one of dignity, togetherness, and community.
Now the world needs new ideas to overcome the ongoing conflicts and suffering. I believe that idea must be compassion. Compassion is a language we can all learn. It’s an action we can all take. It is an idea that is rooted in common humanity. But more than that, it is an idea that speaks to our shared ideals and can move us to achieve them.
Compassion has to be our future.
Peter Waiswa, a Compassion Connector from Uganda.