By Frater Johnson Ikube. FRC
The world today seems to be more in need of peace than ever before. We have become more acutely aware of conflicts around the globe especially since the advent of internet and mobile telephony which have literally dissolved all geographic boundaries and brought the whole world together into one environment, popularly known as cyber space. This has helped to make it common knowledge that we are living in an era in which world peace has remained elusive, substantiated by the fact that too many nations are embroiled in crisis emanating from violence, crime and terrorism.
This is true particularly in Nigeria which is currently facing serious diversity management issues arising from its multi-religious, multi-ethnic and multi-linguistic characteristics that have resulted in disturbing political and social differences.
The acknowledgement of a problem is the first step towards its solution. It may seem that the perpetrators of violence are the only ones who relish the negative impact of its effects on the society but this may not necessarily be true. Acts of violence are uncontrolled forms of protest from unhappy individuals. Acts of aggression spring out of discordant internal emotions and thoughts. It is also true that our inner thoughts and feelings are often reactions to external events.
If a large number of people are aggrieved by their personal circumstances, the society must attempt to properly address the underlying causes of these grievances. The governing laws and institutions of a society are effectively a complex system by which individuals are meant to serve the needs of the society so that all its members enjoy a sense of belonging. We can therefore conclude that a society which experiences the unleashing of terror on its law-abiding citizens by other disillusioned members is suffering from a failure of the system in place. The system has failed to integrate all the elements necessary for it to achieve peaceful coexistence of the people it serves.
According to an American Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter who served in the apex court for 23 years (1939 – 1962), “In a democracy, the highest office is the office of citizen”. Therefore, the Government has a key role to play by listening to the yearnings and voices of concerned citizens.
National integration means the efficient bringing together of varied services into one effective system that meets the peculiar needs of all sections of the Nation so that health, happiness and peace prevail across the land. It is the synergy produced by bringing individuals together into one cohesive body, each attending to the other’s needs materially, emotionally and spiritually. To achieve this, various ideas and philosophies must be harmonized to form a robust strategy that takes into consideration the diversity of the people. Such a strategy must of necessity evolve since experience and investigation will reveal improved ways of serving the masses over time.
A thorough and persistent investigation of the behavior and needs of man in a communal setting is indispensable in the attempt to gain the knowledge required to achieve stability and progress in a society. The ancient injunction “Know thyself” points us in the direction of where we must begin. Man must first understand himself before he can understand society. And to do this, he must study the natural and spiritual laws that govern his own being and the universe around him.
This is perfectly in line with the mission of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. By knowing himself, man becomes well positioned to know his community of fellow human beings at a much deeper level.
While man certainly has an inherent desire and need for orderliness he has also ironically shown the tendency to degenerate into disorderliness and creating situations where the law of the jungle rules. When an element of the society poses a threat to peace the immediate use of force to protect the citizens is perhaps unavoidable. The fear of being forcefully put down could dissuade potential perpetrators of terrorism from actually carrying out their destructive thoughts. In this way a kind of peace can be established in the sense that physical violence is suppressed. But as long as would-be perpetrators of violence continue to harbor aggressive thoughts, the peace established is an uneasy one much like the calm before a storm.
Since eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, every citizen must maintain vigilance in order to avoid the breakdown of law and order. A much more comfortable and enduring situation would be a state of peace that is willingly sought after by all elements of the society. An outer world of peace will naturally follow inner aspirations for concord. The effort for securing global peace should therefore be situated at the mental and emotional frontiers of the human consciousness.
Is global peace attainable? It certainly is and must be because there is no other option.