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Peace Essay

             Ralph Waldo Emerson once declared that “peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.” Herein lies the key to peace. Cooperation, tolerance, confidence and understanding are all factors that determine relations between two sides, whether on the global or individual level. .
             It is essential to determine what peace really is. Peace can be put into one of two degrees. The first level is passive, where the parties in question are simply not in conflict with each other. The second level is active. Here, not only is there an absence of conflict, but also factors that contribute to conflict are actively being reduced by both sides through such means as diplomacy and cultural exchange. This level can be achieved only through awareness and understanding. It is vital to remember that the true opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.
             The conflict in the Middle East can be explained in a number of ways. One opinion is that the Israeli government has gone rogue, and it is persecuting the Palestinian population. The conflicting explanation is that the Palestinians have had chances to take back a large portion of their land, but have been unable to swallow their pride and have demanded more and more each time. A third reason can be attributed to the conflicting religions and their beliefs. What it all really comes down to is that a spirit of compromise is lacking. However, this last statement is not intended to be an obvious declaration. Many in the Western world look upon the Middle East with bewilderment. “Why can’t they just come to an agreement and end this?” is the question that comes to mind. Yet how can the America of today know how difficult it is to obtain peace without knowing what war truly is? The military operations in Afghanistan seem far off to most Americans, and do not really affect daily life here.