December 31, 2008

Peace

"Too many of us think [that peace] is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade; therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable, and we believe they can do it again. I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of universal peace and goodwill of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams, but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only immediate goal. Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions -on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. [...] Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process -a way of solving problems. [...] So, let us not be blind to our differences -but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world save for diversity."
~John F. Kennedy, in his Peace address at American University, June 10, 1963

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Souns like the following might work:
    - What's working?
    - What do we want to stop doing and differently instead?
    - What might we see ourselves doing first to make some small progress?

    Coert, thanks for this piece on peace!

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