What is the Definition of Peace?
Without negotiation, no definition will do peace justice. The word is too expansive, modest, loaded with nuance, and practical. The penny of desired mental states, peace is taken for granted unless continuously multiplied. Yet peace is not entirely mysterious to us: we recognize it in people’s words, actions, and characters. What meaning does a peaceful day possess if not compared against events of a hectic one?
Multiple dimensions coalesce whenever we demand peace. Perhaps like love or wisdom, peace is the energy we understand tacitly, instead of overtly, knowing more internally than we can easily define with language.
Although examining the nature of harm and other dimensions of violence retain importance in understanding peacebuilding, it would seem that questions relating to the blurred boundaries between society, our desires, and peace require further deep thinking.
The current canon of peace scholarship emphasizes a nation’s relationship to war. From Kant to Rousseau, this lengthy canon lives as though the individual’s relationship to peace is only related to how a country manages its rights, along with how quickly the government is willing to resort to violence to expand or protect its regime. Society plays a part in our understanding of peace, but not to the degree that most scholarship articulates. We understand peace as much from its absence as its presence, and we can discern peace from pretense.
Peace is as assorted as we are. It lives in our avarice and charity, genius and stupidity. We catch it in transient moments, sensing it and then internalizing it as an infrequent sensation that we’d prefer to replicate. Nevertheless, we’re able to name peace as a central component during an enduring, loving relationship. And to that same degree, not even a perfect relationship bears all the patterns of peace.
Yet, the more I study peace, the closer I am to being comfortable with how far modernity is to making peace a norm and how far we are to investigating its essence. Peace is desirable, but for what purpose…