Getting Clues About Peaceful Societies
un article par Tony Dominski
Over the past few days, I spent blissful hours reviewing the Peaceful
Societies website. Launched last month on January 20, 2005, Inauguration Day, it showcases two dozen societies that profess and practice non-violence as a cultural value. These societies represent a broad geographic range from Tahiti to the Arctic, from Nepal to Central Africa, and include the Amish and Hutterites in the United States.
The website is organized as an encyclopedia with basis facts of each culture: population, economy, beliefs, gender relations, child rearing, cooperation and competition, social control, and ways to avoid conflict and warfare. It was fascinating and encouraging to see how many different cultural routes lead to non-violence.
The experience of peaceful cultures provides a stark contrast to U.S. conditions. The website recounts an amazing cultural exchange of the Ifaluk of Micronesia with United States Navy vessels who visited their island after WWII. The sailors showed American films to the Ifaluk. Unfortunately, the violence displayed in those films--people being beaten and shot--panicked the islanders, terrifying some into illnesses that lasted for days.
The Peaceful Societies website does not claim that any of the cultures are models for others to follow. Rather it intends that the study of peaceful cultures could provide tantalizing clues to how a culture of peace might be created. To me, the website is an inspiring demonstration of how the science of anthropology could be used to advance the Culture of Peace.
Question(s) liée(s) à cet article:
Are nonkilling societies possible?,
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LATEST READER COMMENT:
Promoting Communication Literacy through Principles of Compassion for a Nonviolent Planet
by Vedabhyas Kundu
At a time when there are conflicts at different level around the world, promoting COMMUNICATION LITERACY through principles of compassion is a necessity so as to bring people together and collectively work for global peace.
Compassion and feelings for others are essential ingredients for human unity. Swami Vivekananda had said, “Do you feel for others? If you do, you are growing in oneness. If you do not feel for others, you may be the most intellectual giant ever born, but you will be nothing; you are but dry intellect, and you will remain so.”
Indeed in today’s contemporary society when there are so much of differences and intolerance, if we can’t promote feeling and compassion for others, we cannot promote oneness amongst one another. There seems to be crisis of values and little respect for each other’s ideas and perspective. For a large number of people, the self seems to be the supreme and are agnostic about the feelings of others. Anger and hatred towards each other seems to be found in abundance. All these will lead to greater conflicts and ill feelings amongst fellow beings. Swami Vivekananda pertinently underlines that howsoever one may acquire intellectual power, without compassion for others, one is nothing.
The essence of compassion has been stressed by the Dalai Lama who says, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.” Mother Teresa had also said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Without compassion we cannot think of actions by humans which are benevolent in nature; without compassion the spirit of volunteerism for greater good of our society would be missing.
My case in point is how we can promote communication in our society which is based on the principles of compassion. One way is by learning to listening to others. . ...suite.
Cet article a été mis en ligne le March 8, 2005.
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