The 2016 Global Peace Index has put things in perspective.
The world continues to spend enormous amounts on creating and containing violence and little on building peace. The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2015 was $13.6 trillion in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. This figure represents 13.3 per cent of the world’s economic activity (gross world product) or $1,876 for every person in the world.
It seems to me that too many people value aggression more than peace and equitable prosperity, and the above numbers show just how much.
What could we do with that money? If we did not spend it on guns, etc., we could work toward greater justice and well-being for all. Science could progress more rapidly; education could be made more widely available; the environment could be rescued. You can add any number of things to this list.
The report quoted above also states positive steps countries can take to achieve peace. In a wonderful graphic, they list these steps:
- A well-functioning government
- Equitable distribution of resources
- A sound business environment
- Low levels of corruption
- The free flow of information
- Good relations with neighbors
- Acceptance of the rights of others
- High levels of human capital.
If those trillions of dollars could be spent on the above goals instead of militarization and other bellicose activities, we could become truly civilized. Some countries have almost achieved this, and they are to be lauded. Their achievement shows that other countries can do this, too.
One thing we all can do to further this reallocation of resources is to stand firm in our contemplative practice, allowing the mindset of peace and harmony to spread. When this spreads far enough, then the interest in violence and aggression will decline, and free more resources for creating better lives for us all.
This takes longer than we may have, however, so it behooves us also to work actively for justice, in whatever way we can. None of us can do everything, but at least we can do our part and make some contribution that is within our means to make. Every effort toward peace and justice counts.
May all your efforts be blessed.
Copyright © 2016 Teresa Chupp. All rights reserved.