In a study conducted this year to determine the state of peace around the world, it has been concluded that the state of overall peace has worsened in the last seven years.
The measure applied to do this, The Global Peacefulness Index, derived from data collated by the Economist Intelligence Unit, considered 22 qualitative and quantitative statistical indicators and concluded that Iceland and Denmark are currently the most peaceful nations in the world, followed by Austria in the third place. The USA is ranked 101, India 143 and Russia 152. The Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria are at the bottom of the list. The UK is ranked 47. The study has been endorsed by various Statesmen and leading world personalities.
The overall average score has deteriorated since the last study, implying that the world peacefulness has declined in the last seven years. The measure says the world is 4% less peaceful now. Increasing terrorist activity leading to displacement of people is the chief cause. The economic cost to the world of containing violence is also measured by this study. The cost of conducting the study is not quantified. It is assumed that the data provided by individual nations is reliable.
The leading minds and agencies of the world are engulfed in measuring, concluding and forecasting. Do they really search for answers? What good is this information to those innocent victims of the horrendous unstoppable inhuman acts perpetrated by growing number of radicals and extremists? Will the mature sensible people of Iceland rub their hands together gleefully in the knowledge that they are sitting on top of the pile? Or will they be saddened by the knowledge that they have marched on leaving other nations behind? Such a study by and large provides a basis for informed discussions about the state of the world, and no more. It is mere information that sits inside dull minds as a heap of sawdust until meaningful and lasting action is taken collectively by those who understand the need for the world communities to co-exist with compassion at the centre of everything we do.
Does it address questions like why do people act the way they do and plunder lives and nations? How can we change ideologies and paradigms? Are greed and desire to gain ascendancy over others at the core of this condition? Who or which nation is best qualified to take a lead to drive peace forward?
Could it be that this can best be tackled at individual personal level?
The present day living is largely beginning to be founded on material well-being only. Hence, man is becoming devoid of spirituality. The fundamental truth that spirit does not arise from material, but rather material arises from spirit is now alien to us. The modern man is so caught up in making a living that he has no time to truly and deeply think about life – where he’s come from and where he’s heading. His shallow living with murky intentions, self-centeredness and compulsion to perpetually engage in gaining ascendancy over others leave no time or energy for him to think at a deeper level. The result is frustration, confusion and inner conflict. And what is inside is experienced outside. Peace has to be experienced within before it is seen around us.
There is clearly a need to genuinely create the feeling of being connected with fellow humans from a level where we all come together. Integrity – wholeness – comes from knowing that we are all individual strands of the grand divine matrix of existence – our home where we are all one.
Until this is taken on board, man will be chasing his own tail, toiling hard on the treadmill of life, but going nowhere.
It is said and proved by scientific studies that when an individual feels veritable peace within, the immediate surrounding population is influenced positively by it. Through mathematical calculations it is concluded that if the square root of 1% of a given population habitually practises experiencing peace within through meditation, the entire population is influenced and benefits by it. Crime rate, hostile behaviour and general unrest in the given population tend to decline. The world hitherto has been in a relatively peaceful state because of the existence of individuals who have been versed in the technique of deep meditative practice.
The world population of circa 6.4 billion requires around 8 million individuals around the world to practise this art. Unfortunately the number of such individuals is fast dwindling with the consequence that the world peacefulness is depleting.
So to improve the world peacefulness index, at an individual level more of us need to join this elite band of peace-loving individuals. Let us individually strive to be amongst the ‘Group of The 8 Million’. The cost is zero and rewards are unquantifiable!
Posterity will thank us.