World Peace: Healing through Love

The message of Christmas is the hope for world peace. What, then, is the path toward peace? Is there a pattern that we can follow in order to achieve the cherished goal of peace for all humankind?

Let the Positive Heal the Negative through Love

I believe there is such a pattern. It can be expressed as follows: Let the positive heal the negative through love. The best way to illustrate this is through examples.

As you may know, I studied theology with the Catholic Church in my early youth—and I find great wisdom in referring to examples of the Bible. There is one example in which peace was NOT achieved, and one example in which peace WAS achieved. Both are well known.

Cain and Abel: What not to do

Cain and Abel

Cain and Abel

The first example is the struggle of CAIN and ABEL. In the Back-to-the-Body Perspective we believe that “Cain” represents the left side of the brain, and “Abel” represents the right side of the brain. Abel was blessed; Cain was not. Abel DID NOTHING for Cain. Cain’s resentment grew. Cain KILLED Abel.

This is a result that we DO NOT want. This is tragic. We do not want a situation that produces destruction, suffering, and misery. The lesson here is this: if you are blessed, don’t just sit around and enjoy your blessing. This may lead to complacency and arrogance. Fortunately, there is a better example for world peace, which is the story of Esau and Jacob.

Esau and Jacob: Victory of Peace through Love

The example of Esau and Jacob is quite different. Jacob was blessed; Esau was not. After a period of separation, Jacob returned to meet his brother, Esau. When they meet, Jacob offers to give everything to Esau. Through this gesture of love and reconciliation, the two brothers made their peace, and both lived in prosperity.

World War I vs. World War II

Berlin rebuilds itself

Berlin rebuilds itself

Another example of peace can be found in what happened after World War II as contrasted with World War I. When World War I ended in 1918, the winning powers exacted a huge price from the defeated nations. As a result, the situation of the defeated nations became unbearable, and resentment grew. Not long after that, the world found itself in an even more terrible war, which was World War II.

At the end of World War II, however, the attitude of the winning powers was completely different. They took early and strong initiative to help the defeated nations get back on their feet and rebuild themselves. Instead of exacting huge payments and reparations, they came with huge amounts of financial help to the defeated nations.

As a result of the largesse and generosity of the winning powers, the defeated nations developed themselves to become strong and prosperous societies, greatly contributing to the world’s economic boom.

Nixon Visits China in 1972

One final example of peace came about when when Pres. Richard Nixon visited Chairman Mao Zedong in China in 1972. In spite of his other faults (for example, spying on opponents’ files), Nixon is, in my view, one of the great US presidents. His meeting with Chairman Mao Zedong has become one of the iconic moments of the 20th century.

Nixon visits China, 1972

Nixon visits China, 1972

To understand the significance of Nixon’s visit to Chairman Mao in China, think of the world situation at that time. Chairman Mao had built his political career as an opponent to the United States. For many years he had been saying that the US was a paper tiger.

This is what Chairman Mao wanted to demonstrate through the Vietnam War. His big opportunity was the Tet Offensive of 1968. By using sleigh of hands and adroit tactics (for example, camouflaging weapons in flower trucks or attacking during the truce of a major Holy Day), the North Vietnamese Communists had created photo-ops for mock victories. They would enter a town as tourists, then would quickly attack some landmark location, at which point they would take pictures and claim victory—before being ruthlessly repelled by the US and its allies.

US Soldiers in Vietnam, 1968

US Soldiers in Vietnam, 1968

The losses to the Communist Vietnamese were devastating. Their forces became scattered and defeated. By using underhanded tactics and scoring quick points, the Communist Vietnamese started sending their photos to the whole world, claiming victory—but the wise Mao Zedong knew better. He knew that the hopes of world Communism were being hurled onto an ash heap of history.

What was brilliant about Nixon’s strategy, however, was that he managed to find a way for Chairman Mao Zedong to save face. When he visited China in 1972, I believe he promised Chairman Mao that the US would allow the Vietnamese people to sort out their political struggle all by themselves.

Chairman Mao

Chairman Mao

Thus, Communism was defeated in the Vietnam War, but the Communist Vietnamese ended up victorious. It is for this reason that I consider the Vietnam War a unique war in American history: you defeat the enemy, and yet you allow the enemy to claim victory. You defeat, but you do not destroy the enemy.

When Nixon shook hands with Chairman Mao, he was giving the aging Communist warrior a way to save face, to maintain his dignity, and to start positive relations with the free world. The handshake was a gesture of love and good will, which started the healing of the Communist world.

We can see, then, that peace is the fruit of positive initiatives rather than wars. Those who are blessed with riches should know this: the ball is in your court! If you do nothing and sit around to enjoy your blessings, you may find resentment growing all around you. But if you take positive actions to help those who are less blessed, you will be rewarded with peace and good will.

Merry Christmas!

Paulo-Juarez Pereira
Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
Christmas Day, 2014

  Photo Credits:

Photo: Cain and Abel; Author: Gábor; Source: http://bit.ly/1xgifBw; Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Photo: Potsdamer Platz; Author: Daniel; Source: http://bit.ly/1EjA6Od; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: xx; Author: xx; Source: xx; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Nixon visits China; Author: manhhai; Source: http://bit.ly/1rkgUdA; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Photo: Vietnam in 1968; Author: Neil Smith; Source: http://bit.ly/13GGWgc; Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Photo: Chairman Mao; Author: Tauno Tõhk / 陶诺; Source: http://bit.ly/1xgokhu; Creative Commons License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

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