DoPeace

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Hi all!

Well, here is a basic question, but one which is at the heart of the education of peace...how do you define peace? Please share the definitions you might used in class, or in public presentations. Also, please be sure to note the audience you are reaching - it will be interesting to see how we may change the definition depending on who we are talking to. I am teaching a course this summer on the Anthropology of Peacemaking, and this is a critical question!

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Perhaps peace is a conscious, communal awareness and meeting of needs, both internal and external, both blatant and underlying, for the greatest good of all.

This is an interesting and critical question. I am reflecting on it further and curious as to others' responses. This "audience" was myself. Certainly presentation would change with Congressmen/women, young children, in spiritual conversation or in college classes. The inability to clearly define peace, as it is such an intangible 'thing' laden with personal triggers, truly inhibits the ability to bring the idea forward in the world. For me, this is a worthwhile exercise.

Peacemaking’s foundation is one of fulfilled physical needs, justice, skills, relationship, equity and an understanding of the delicate balance and intertwining of life (and/or the agreement to collectively achieve this.)

This is self, presenting to self.

To the “right” peace is “left”.
To the structure of war, peace is unprofitable.
To the armed forces, peace is the goal.
To the goal of peace, peace awaits the structure.
To the structure, peace awaits the people.
To the people, peace seems a distant notion.
To the embittered, peace is nonsense.
To the angry, peace is unwanted.
To the wounded peace is no salve.
To the disenfranchised peace is hopeless.
To the sensitive, peace is longed for.
To the meditative, peace is internal.
To the spiritual peace is eternal.
To the mother, peace is the wish for her child.
To the child peace is what knows joy.
To joy, peace is what waits.
To what waits, peace is.

Reflecting on the above stream of thought;
Peace or more often the lack thereof, is dependent on structure, belief system or state of being.
Structures, beliefs and emotional states are synthesized by man.
Being man-made, and with dedicated effort, man/woman has the power to re-create these conditions.
To re-create the conditions, we all keep 'doing the work'; shedding light on the established structures, reviewing our beliefs and balancing our inner states of being.
Hi,
We can probably agree that peace is subjective, and spans the spectrum from individual inner peace to the absence of war, etc. So, defining it can be difficult. For myself, I think peace is both an inner concept as well as a societal reality that goes beyond the absence of war. It is communities adapting and transforming conflicts rather than confronting.
I found that an interesting way to deconstruct a definition of peace was by studying the etymology of peace in different languages. In an international student/group setting this works perfectly by having each student study their mother tongue's linguistic history of the word peace. It is a fascinating way to see peace as it developed in different cultures and a good way for students to involve themselves in a definition.
Your course sounds like an interesting perspective on peace!
Researching the etymology sounds like an intriguing venture! Thanks!
This sounds like an amazing project that should be a thesis or academic work! What great idea!
I'd define it as
- a state of bliss
- lack of conflict or hatred
- being in harmony
- being in a heavenly state
- a balanced mind
- God

Or... letting your spouse think she (he) is always right.
I define "PEACE" as follows to my students-
"PEACE is Science of convergence of "Science of Matter" with "Science of Spirituality".Science of Matter deals with 1)SECURITY-personal,food, shelter,livelihood and other socio-economic needs, environmental and ecological etc 2) COMFORT with a sense of enoughness-meet your needs but donot run after greeds 3)Happiness. Science of Spirituality deals with TRUTH,ORDER and HARMONY. Blending of MATTER & SPIRIT is PEACE.
Prof.Fani Bhusan Das

Hi Macomb -

I'm looking through DoPeace in much greater depth than I ever did before, and I came across your question.  It may or may not still be a relevant question for you.  Here is a definition I have been using for "peacebuilding."

Practical tools for reducing violence, transforming conflict, and enhancing cooperation.

So I suppose a definition of "peace" could be "reduced violence, transformation of conflict, and enhanced cooperation." ?  Interesting - does convey the active, kinetic sense of "peace" as something in process, not an "arrived at" state.

Best Wishes,

Dan

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