Lets give Peace a chance – for the betterment of mankind

Even more people have died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in terrorist attacks worldwide, than in the actual fall of the towers. The so-called “war against terror” has left a trail of blood and broken homes in its wake.

More often than not, violence and hatred begets only more violence and hatred. However, is that the future we want for our children?

What then should be the legacy of 9/11? Loss, anger, frustration? Or can we find a way to move past the pain to understanding and compassion, Can we, perhaps one day, even seek to find forgiveness?

Small, simple steps are needed to build sincerity, understanding and faith between those divided by the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Engaging in interfaith dialogue, identifying and addressing racial,
religious and cultural inequality, matching actions with words and correcting the perceptions of the world about America and Americans can all help.

In short, we need to move beyond “war” and embrace a new paradigm and a new narrative of peace, solidarity and love.

Just as Americans remember loss every year on September 11, many people all over the world, especially in the Middle East and South Asia, remember American military interventions. This is counterproductive, vituperative and an
affront to our sensibilities.

The alternative is peace. If we are given a chance to enter into a dialogue with each other and offered the opportunity to discuss our differences, we will discover our similarities. Our basic humanity will come through and we
can create a path toward peace.

Unless we give peace a chance – away from the “playing fields of Eton”, as the Duke of Wellington said of Waterloo – and come to a meeting of minds, we cannot find our similarities or dream of anything but loss, grief and blame.

For this to happen, we need governments all over the world to focus their efforts and resources on engaging in dialogues with societies and groups that hold grave misperceptions of the “other”, and reach out to people in other
“affected” countries to address the need for an integrated approach to effective, meaningful engagement.

I may seem naive to aim my suggestions toward governments, proposing they should exercise a shift in policy. But with this shift, peace and forgiveness can be given a chance.