Is the United States a peace-loving nation?
Is the United States a peace-loving nation? Based on an annual comprehensive survey of the world’s nations, apparently not. An international team of experts organized by analysts from the highly respected Economist Intelligence Unit (an economic forecasting agency) have created the Global Peace Index, the first such survey ever created to measure the world’s nations by their peacefulness. Nations are ranked by 24 indicators, which include internal factors such as transparency and human rights, as well as external factors such as war and relations with other nations.
The 2011 survey placed the United States 82nd out of 153 countries, with Iceland in first place and Somalia last. Canada scored a very respectful 8th. Mexico came in 121st. The good news is that the United States seems to be moving in the right direction. In 2008 our ranking was 96 out of the 121 countries surveyed. By the 2009 survey the United States had progressed to 83rd place. 2010 saw the country reverse direction, ending up in 85th place out of 149 countries, but a return to 82nd this year is a hopeful sign.
Peace, as the Global Peace Index acknowledges, can be internal to a country as well as external. Democracy, governmental transparency, and a system that applies justice equally and fairly are all indicators of peace. In addition to these quantifiable outward signs, peace is energy. Life is energy, love is energy, everything, or almost everything—is based in energy: physical, mental, or spiritual. Without peaceful energy, there is no peace. And peaceful energy begins within each individual, within the mind, where war and peace struggle for dominance.
Outer peace, which reflects collective peace, can only be achieved or created when enough individuals experience inner peace. We bring peace to the world by evolving ourselves and, once we have peace, by helping others to evolve themselves. We can teach others peace, but only they can change themselves. How do we teach peace? We teach peace through information and through example. The fruit of peace is desirable and tempting. If we can be an example and radiate peace, others will see it, want it, and move toward it.
By serving as an example of peace we are responding to the right brain, which uses the “force” of attraction to accomplish its goals. When information is our tool of transformation we are responding to the thought-oriented left brain which is rational and reacts to fact-based energy. For example, peace is conservative of energies; war is destructive of energies. Viewed in this context, peace appeals to the conservative left brain—which bases it actions on what is best for us personally, individually, and thus we should be able to change minds through education.
However, because war is good for business and provides the security of jobs, war can also be appealing the conservative left brain. In any case, since the conservative brain is our protective brain it is naturally fearful of any change to the status quo. If we are to see the USA advance in peacefulness, it seems we could use an antidote for fear. That would be love.