My simple and straightforward take on leadership and the current approach of solving for peace with violence.
Maybe it is my simple mind but when I compare South Africa’s action towards reconciliation and peace after Nelson Mandela was released and became the President of the country, or Mahatma Gandhi’s action in South Africa and then in India against the British Empire to free people of colonial rule, inequality, and atrocities, or Dr. Martin Luther King’s Jr. effort to fight discrimination and inequalities in the US, verses Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and the US involvement in Vietnam, Iraq, & Afghanistan, I for one am convinced that violence, inequality, or atrocities, cannot be addressed & dismantled with the same but rather with non-violence, peace, understanding, respect, empathy, compassion, patience, & values that respect all living beings, their traditions, and cultures.
One common denominator in all of the example above is the “Belief System” that is empowering vs disempowering.
Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King, were able to embody their belief in human value, compassion, equality, and empathy, into every cell of their body and inspire millions to make it their own. They stuck to their values and beliefs of greater good at very high personal cost in the face of grave danger to them personally, their family, and their community. Their common belief in the greater good was powerful enough to melt the cruelest among us, blunt the power of the most powerful guns, and bring to knees the the biggest Empire in the world, smartest of political, legal, military, and bureaucratic machinery that was built on disempowering belief system.
“An opponent is entitled to the same regard for his principles as we would expect others to have for ours. Non-violence demands that we should seeks every opportunity to win over opponents." Mahatma Gandhi
Russia (Soviet Union), the USA, or any other nation with their mighty army have not been or will not be a match for any belief systems. Belief systems let us define ourselves and our identity. Human beings or nations will do literally anything to protect their identity- be it based on country, religion, education, income, group, etc. Therefore, any individual, nation, or group, with limited identity and power can be a disaster as documented throughout human history and current events.
“The hardest of metal yields to sufficient heat. Even so must the hardest heart melt before sufficiency of the heart of nonviolence. And there is a no limit to the capacity of non-violence to generate heat." Mahatma Gandhi
In my point of view, the way forward to address the messy global epidemic of violence be it from the terrorists, national army’s, domestic gun violence, street thugs, family violence, or drugs, is to adopt authentic and simple values that embodies greater good for all living beings and the planet earth and one that we can stick to in both good and bad times. One that acknowledges that our future as human beings on this plane is intertwined and dependent on our individual and collective actions. If we can only follow our values in good times, then they are not values, they are conveniences!!!
"If we can only follow our values in good times, then they are not values, they are conveniences."
Leadership and Global Peace
We have to be able to live with, lead with, and influence, empowering values without the use of violence or force to stop the cycle of violence globally. As someone once said, we get what we deserve. In order to get what we want; we have to become more and stop using violence to achieve peace. We have to trust that nonviolence is the most powerful tool in our toolkit to make this earth a better place for all.
Just some food for thought ....Costa Rica is not perfect but great example. They abolished their national army to invest in their people and environment and it has paid rich dividend for them and in an indirect manner the entire world benefits from this.