There is in paxology a certain fear of aiming high. A fear of sounding too idealistic, too naive, too starry-eyed, etc.
Also, many people “know” that peace, world peace even more, is impossible. They have all kinds of more or less intelligent arguments and theories for asserting this.
But people who “know” what is possible and impossible are, even though they might be well-meaning, not helping . On the contrary, they are themselves unwitting obstacles to peace.
What we dare not think we surely will not attempt.
This is also important when it comes to definitions of peace. “Well-managed social conflict” is not good enough. Careful, conservative definitions that still contain elements of war (“war can never be really stopped”), and also definitions that are limited to a political kind of thinking, are working according to an inverted saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Aim below the mark to hit the mark.
Emerson actually said Aim ABOVE the mark to hit the mark.
So which accidental shall we use, the sharp that raises?
Aim high. Aim at the sun, and you might have a good chance of at least hitting a planet. Why not Venus?
Or the lowering flat?
Be careful and conservative!
And your very carefulness (in many situations a virtue) will hinder you from even reaching the stratosphere.
The fear of sounding idealistic or even Utopian (not one of my fears) is weighing us down and ties us to the ground — a ground where war, war seeds and the interest in and fascination for war-related things (much encouraged by mass media, for whom bad news are “good” news) has become the norm.
We need a peace norm, and for that we need to be more, not less, “starry eyed”. It would actually be naive NOT to aim high, considering how many obstacles there are to peace. Let’s not add weak faith to the list.
Only the bravest efforts and greatest idealism will succeed in getting us there. Careful pragmatism will only redecorate the room, keeping the same old furniture, the same old curtain, same old carpet.
We need a new room, a peace room.