By Nicolas Atayan Nave
Peace is ever-evolving measure of overall human conflict, and has eluded us since the dawn of time. Since the beginning of human history, we have stolen, killed, conquered, argued, and warred. Peace has always been regarded as an obviously preferable but unrealistic state of existence and relegated to the world of cliches, along with “true love” and “karma.” But there is good news, and you may not have known about it until now —statistics show 2015 is the most peaceful time on Earth in recorded history. This isn’t some fluke either — we are only getting more peaceful with time, this is a trend that has been persisting for a while now. It may be surprising to some, given that terrorist attacks and school shootings seem to happen on a weekly basis. However, on the whole, there has never been a safer time to be alive.
The question, “How can we achieve world peace” is a question that has no immediate practical answer. The truth is that we will never live in a completely peaceful utopia and there will always be someone stealing, murdering, or committing some sort of crime. What we should be aspiring towards as a species is to be as peaceful as practically possible, and this is something that can only be achieved through increased modernization of the world. The overall trend of increased peacefulness correlates with the concurrent trend of increased technological and cultural modernization. One example of how cultural modernization influenced world peace is the Civil Rights Movement — people in the United States became educated and collectively realized the barbarity of racial discrimination, resulting in a more peaceful world today.
It can be seen that the least peaceful places on Earth at the moment are also some of the least developed, and vice versa. To achieve a higher sense of world peace, countries which lag behind the most developed ones must modernize on all fronts. But how can this be done? Simply by virtue of patience. It may seem disingenuous, but it’s entirely serious — the world will only continue to become more modern, resources will only continue to become more available, and technology will only continue to become more advanced as time goes on. No countries are going backwards in terms of technological or cultural development. As these things happen, world peace will also come hand in hand.
We shouldn’t be worrying too much about peace; we are living in some of the most peaceful times ever and the statistics are not in favor of that changing any time soon. No, we don’t live in a fairy tale perfect world, but that’s okay because we are doing our best to approximate it — and we are getting infinitesimally closer as we speak.
The question “How do we achieve world peace?” is inherently pessimistic and misguided. It implies that world peace is some fixed state that we can one day arrive at, and it implies that world peace is something we are far from at the present. It is true that we will never achieve this contrived, fabled state, but we can get as close as we possibly can to it, and we are. Right now we are as close to it as we have ever been, and this is something to be realized and celebrated.