Tuesday, September 26, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 10, 1445 H
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Why is there so much hatred?

It is pathetic that even close friends and relatives, in moments of madness, become the worst of enemies

We live in a world where people have different values, aspirations, grievances, goals, and ambitions. Similarly, increased animosities, abuse of human rights, greed, exploitation, and inequality, along with political divides and ethnic and religious conflicts have been going on for years, permeating every aspect of our lives.

It is pathetic that even close friends and relatives, in moments of madness, become the worst of enemies, seeking the most horrible means to malign and even kill one another and inflicting the most terrible of pain on themselves in the process!

When it comes to global history, researchers may not be able to provide exact details about the periods that have been free from war. Much of recorded history has also been filled with imperial or colonial occupations, where a powerful nation used force to rule over other nations.

A great philosopher of all time, J Krishnamurti, wrote, "The problems of war have existed before, but most of us have not been concerned with them as they were remote and not affecting us personally or deeply, but now war is at our door and seems to dominate the minds of most people".

Why is there so much hatred and disgust in the world? Why cannot people live in peace and harmony and love one another? After living for so many centuries, why is it that man cannot coexist peacefully on this marvellous earth?

However, the fact is that a vast section of the population today is seeking peace. Even those who don’t normally bother about peace are beginning to seek it in their lives. Unfortunately, it comes in rare interludes.

In their endeavour to find lasting solutions to this seemingly unending, malignant affliction of man, we see an increasing number of organisations, social workers, and individuals working on change. They put forward several actions, counter-actions, perspectives, and paradigms.

In this regard, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. The UN General Assembly devoted this day to strengthening the ideals of peace through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. According to the UN, conflict and violence are on the rise globally. It has warned that peace is more under threat around the world than it has been since World War II.

The cost of wars and conflicts is almost unfathomable. In addition to human suffering, social unrest, and damage to infrastructure, they impact the affected countries’ economies. They disrupt access to basic services like food and water and force people into extreme poverty, with the poorest and most vulnerable paying the highest price.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations’s Global Conflict Tracker, among those worsening are the conflict in Ukraine, the war in Afghanistan, political instability in Lebanon, bloody civil wars in Yemen and Syria, the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, and the conflict in Ethiopia.

As we are set to celebrate the International Day of Peace tomorrow, this human disposition remains an elusive promise for many around the world. Conflicts continue to wreak destruction, while their causes have become more complex and difficult to resolve.

Real, lasting, stable peace requires trust and solidarity among people. Those things quickly unravel if old grudges are constantly resurfacing.

As Nelson Mandela declared, "peace is not just the absence of conflict; peace is the creation of an environment where all can flourish, regardless of race, colour, creed, religion, gender, class, caste, or any other social markers of difference".

This was further expressive in the words of Maryam, a native of Nigeria’s northern state of Borno, where relentless insurgency and violent extremism have plagued people for more than a decade.

Mariam, a young poet said during the UN "Peace Begins with Me" campaign to recognise the service and sacrifice of United Nations peacekeepers, "peace for me is not just the absence of conflict but also the presence of justice, equality, and respect for human dignity. Everyone deserves to have and find peace."

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