PeaceJanuary 1, 2009
“Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict – alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence” – Dorothy Thompson
Adhiyaman, was the king of Thadagur. A neighboring King called Thondaiman wanted to wage war on him. Adhiyaman, didn’t want the immense losses of a war. So, Avvayar, who was a very famous poetess, decided to go to the court of Thondaiman, as an emissary. Thondaiman, who had a great deal of respect for her literary works, showed around his palace, with pride. He also showed the huge stock of weapons he possessed which were new and shining. On noticing that, Avvayar told him that Adhiyaman’s weapons are all broken and are being sharpened, implying that Adhiyaman was more experienced and his expertise was tested in battles. Thondaiman, was quick to grasp the meaning and averted the war.
“Peace has to be created, in order to be maintained. It is the product of faith, strength, energy, will, sympathy, justice, imagination and the triumph of principle. It will never be achieved through passivity and quietism” – Dorothy Thompson.
Artabanus, was the uncle of Xerxes. He thought that there was danger to the Persian army going into Greece, and he tried to induce his nephew Xerxes not to war against Greece. Xerxes answered him as follows: “There is reason in what you say, but you ought not to see danger everywhere or to reckon every risk. If whatever comes up, you are going to weigh everything alike, you will never do anything. It is better to be always an optimist and to suffer half the amount of evil, than always to be full of gloomy anticipations and never suffer at all. If you attack every proposal made without showing the right course to follow, you will come to grief as much as those whom you oppose. The scales are evenly balanced. How can a human being know certainly which way they will incline? He cannot. But success generally attends those who wish to act; and it does not attend those who are timid and balance everything. You see the great power which Persia has attained. If my predecessors on the throne had held your views, or without holding them had had counselors like you, you would never have seen our kingdom become so great. It is by taking risks that they made us what we are. Great things are achieved through great dangers” – This conversation is dated around 500 BCE.
“They have not wanted peace at all; they have wanted to be spared war – as though the absence of war was the same as peace” – Dorothy Thompson.