Home TA Online ‘Blessed are the peacemakers’

‘Blessed are the peacemakers’

Are we warriors of peace, justice, love and oneness? Or just people who take sides based on ethnicity or religion?

DR WONG SOAK KOON/ALIRAN

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“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

This unforgettable and timeless expression is a conflict-resolution teaching that applies in many situations.

But it appears toothless when dealing with spineless, wicked and wretched individuals. Unfortunately, the hate narratives are so diverse and widespread – and they are winning.

Each person is enticed and entrapped by a cause. Whether enlightened or egoistic, people align themselves with one side or the other.

Neutrals are not accepted. They are getting figuratively battered and bruised. Impartiality, integrity and independence are castrated. 

Neutrality, it would appear, is a ‘crime’.

Both sides will attack those who have a conscience, who struggle to rise above race, religion or culture. They are rejected as abominations.

Many neglect to pour out from within the spirit, the poetic language of sacredness without offence. This would have allowed them the space and time to seek the truth and to speak to the inner temple of the souls of perceived opponents.

To look through the eye of the soul and hear with the ear of the heart, to listen to the cry of the voiceless victims – this seems much too difficult for many.

Common sense dictates that our tragic times require a non-confrontational, non-judgemental approach. 

Yet a venomous poison, a transmissible virus of hate, is flowing through the arteries and veins of so many. This venom is infecting one too many people. It appears almost as common as an everyday greeting. It is injecting bitter controversies that contaminate and cripple the character of the very best among us. 

The altruism of Mahatma Gandhi is now a distant, forsaken dream. In its place, hidden motives lurk behind people’s sharing, caring and giving. Each act of sharing or giving usually has a deeper motive or hidden agenda. Humanity’s generosity is sadly limited to our own immediate circle of family and close friends.

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It is rare to see nations giving concessions unconditionally expecting nothing in return. On the social front, each wants to engage in a debate where the winner takes all.

Many have lost the diplomatic art of weaving sensitively through layers of differences, to engage in respectful dialogue, discussion and discernment. Sensible intervention with accompanying interaction is viewed suspiciously as something disadvantageous.

Irreconcilable difficulties arise from the stubborn obsession with holding onto a specific position, possession or power. The incessant, merciless killings of the innocent, especially children, are evidence of evil, intentionally manufactured.

The criminal character of people and nations and their twisted causes is seen in their willingness to take lives without hesitation. The perpetrators know in advance that they enjoy impunity and immunity. A harmful and addictive potion has been brewing and creating victims on both sides.

Those whose souls take sides without a second thought are in abject surrender to the devil or have submitted to the dictates of Hades.

None can claim to be so faultless or blameless. Why do people regard as heroes those – on both sides – who snuff out lives? Are these ‘heroes’ seen as martyrs who will enjoy the promise of paradise?

A monstrous and evil cruelty – beyond reason and logic – roams the Earth. We should not label or categorise this cruelty as mindless.

This vicious trajectory from a twisted, vociferous minority arises due to:

  • extreme religious philosophies that no one seems able to challenge or 
  • a sinister and insidious ideology of entitlement over land, which may be seized for the exclusive use of one side – not to be ceded even by an inch
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Whichever way we look at it, the demented nature of these depravities exposes the double-edged sword of interpretation. Radical extremist content can be interpreted in a despicable manner so that it has the capacity to injure or even kill. This is an atrocity, an abuse of the scriptures that is already evident in the current conflict in the holy land.

This misrepresentation by certain people, for their own interests, has been going on for much too long. We see precious little care to negotiate and reform teachings – which leads to defilement and desecration of what is supposedly claimed as sacred.

None will step away from the edge of sadness or step back from the brink of no return, where the only promise is death. 

So much wailing and lamentation has seeped into the earth, a testament to the sorrow in our world. To no avail, for we are still unable to protect life. A pervasive cloud of helplessness, of hopelessness and futile fears hangs in the air. The only safety is in silence.

Some are hollering on either side of injustice. They are celebrating their perceived opponents’ deaths or cursing them, just wishing that they be obliterated. Mass murder is spoken about as if it is a walk in the park. Those protesting seem hellbent on more bloodshed, which may appease their appetite for war.

Let’s hold ourselves to a higher standard – the honour and dignity of humility. This is never about a group or about two persons exchanging views or opinions! It is not about intellectualising who has the better arguments or opinions. Nor is it about taking one side over the other.

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Otherwise, we end up engaging each other in a tragic sea of blood while dipping the sword of our words in the blood of innocent victims from both sides.

Each unknown victim must be represented with the deepest conscience and greatest compassion. None is anonymous or invisible in spirit.

This is more about humanity and the awakening of each person’s spirit to the unspeakable, unthinkable atrocities and abuse.

It is not a pleasant sight to view two grown persons or groups trying to score brownie points against each other. The tombstones wet with tears do not need cynicism or caustic language.

Use knowledge, wisdom and religion to reconcile each side in contrite atonement and remorse towards real peace.

True love may sometimes seem like a delusion, a fable. Yet, we will be in contempt of life if we don’t aspire to be the best of ourselves for the world, a treasured gift for the strangers in it. Are we not complete when we have a world with the various races and religions sharing this tiny dot in the vast universe in harmony?

Ask ourselves and each other: are we warriors of peace, justice, harmony, equality, unity, love and oneness? Or just people who take sides based on ethnicity or religion?

If we are not lovers of harmony, then we might as well write an obituary for Peace and all the other noble values, as the blood of innocent victims defiles the pages of history.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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