The imperfect peace

“There is no certain peace without the harmony of differences; There is no elimination but rather coexistence after the conflict” Javier Alés.

Peace in mediation

There are many professions that work towards peace, including mine, professional mediation. That is why every time we mediate, we try to bring peace to a conflict that is told to us in each session. That is why we can say without fear of being wrong thatto peace It is a great value that for human beings must consist of the ability of live calmly, with a healthy relationship of social coexistence and well-being. What interests us most is to see peace from the best way of managing the conflicts that arise in our lives, because we cannot wait for others to generate peace, but it must be us/ace, the/ace we live in a situation of conflict, Those of us who have to start generating it and searching for it. That is the mission of the mediator: to give back to the parties their capacity to generate it.

If we look for the term peace, it always refers to the absence of war; everything focused on violent conflicts between States and Countries. That is, armed conflicts (Goal 16 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda also refers to this: REDUCE ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE and Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development) and therefore in the field of International Law, when We talk about peace, we refer to the search for a treaty or agreement between the parties “to end the war.”

For us, mediators, that agreement or pact is the so-called “final agreement.” But our search for peace begins with the conflicting people themselves; Only from an inner peace can an inter-party agreement be sought. That is why seeking peace, even if it is imperfect, because it does not avoid conflict, it produces serenity and respect, values highly valued in the face of conflict.

The “agreement or pact” that the word itself gives its meaning from the Latin “pax, pacis”, requires serenity, calm, solidarity, tolerance and respect for the opinions of others, even if you do not share them and, above all, accept the differences.

Studies and research carried out by some authors show us peace as the most loved, desired and sought good by human beings, since it represents personal well-being and the well-being of the group or society.

But what is the true value of seeking peace?

When we refer to the fact that through mediation we also seek peace between the parties, we do so from the conviction that human beings, and therefore our clients, have the full capacity to achieve a sense of tranquility and acceptance of what happened, which allows them to make decisions for the future, allow harmony of differences with the other person. This is only achieved if they learn to deal with negative feelings or conflicts and make decisions to end their effects, freely.

Paz Imperfecta

Analyzing the concept of peace according to different authors

Several authors and social and political personalities gave their ideas on the concept of peace. Some of the most representative are:

  • Kant – German philosopher. “Peace is not a natural state in which men live together. The natural state is rather that of war, one in which, although hostilities have not been declared, there is a constant risk that they will break out. Preventing the start of hostilities is not enough to ensure peace. For this reason, peace is something that must be implemented.”
  • Buddha – sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. “More than a thousand useless words, just one that grants peace is worth it”
  • Johan Galtung – Norwegian sociologist. “'Positive peace' is the generation of a harmonious relationship and is achieved when two or more entities in conflict undertake projects together and the benefits generated by that project are shared equitably. Not mathematically equal, but it is important that there are no blatant inequalities between the parties.”
  • Gandhi – Indian lawyer and politician. “There is no path to peace, peace is the path.”
  • Jimi Hendrix - Singer. “When the power of love surpasses the love of power, the world will know peace.”
  • Martin Luther King – American activist. “Peace is not just a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we reach that goal.”
  • Nelson Mandela – South African lawyer and politician. “Peace is not simply the absence of conflict; Peace is creating an environment in which we can all thrive.”
  • Dominique Pire – Priest, Nobel Peace Prize winner. “There is an extremely subtle and dangerous temptation to confuse peace with the simple absence of war, like being tempted to confuse health with the absence of disease, or freedom with not being imprisoned. The terminology is sometimes misleading. For example, the expression "peaceful coexistence" means absence of war and not true peace.
  • Mother Teresa of Calcutta – Indian nun. “Peace and war begin at home. If we really want there to be peace in the world, let's start by loving each other within our own families."
  • Eleanor Roosevelt – American writer and activist. "Not enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it and work for it".

Ten authors, ten ideas and all of them with thoughts that we mediators use:

The word; the relationship; the way; respect; the means to follow; the environment; peaceful coexistence; change the I for the we; believe that it is possible...mediation, dear friend reader.

Achieving that balance and respect, which I already talked about in another recent post, leads us to the “social peace” that we seek with our work as a mediator, which allows imperfections to coexist, because relationships between people are not always they're easy. Reality is made of lights and shadows, tranquility and conflict, agreements and disagreements, understanding and incomprehension. And we must never forget what I like to call it “imperfect peace”, as that which leads us to reach an agreement in which we are obliged to understand each other, even if none of the parties like it in its entirety.

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