By: Repeacer Monday, 02 January 2012
In 1963, John F. Kennedy gave one of his greatest speeches, the focus of which was peace. At the time, the concept of peace was heavily entrenched in the subject of war, the relationship between the USA and the Soviet Union, and the amounts of nuclear weapons in both countries' arsenals. At the time, Kennedy wanted to discuss a different kind of peace, in his words, "a more practical peace."
It was JFK, who stated that: "The mere absence of war is not peace."
I believe that JFK gave us insight into how we could live our lives, although many of us may have overheard Kennedy's message or have not cared enough to understand it. Is it a coincidence that his words, and the words of other luminaries, such as Gandhi; Martin Luther King, Jr.; Victor Hugo; and Nelson Mandela, just to name a few, are now echoing louder and louder, and showing up on Facebook postings and other social networking media all the time? Is it a coincidence that the subject of war and peace now is as relevant as when Kennedy spoke of it?
In 2009, when I lived In San Francisco, I noticed that the peace symbol seemingly appeared everywhere. Around that time, I designed the Repeace symbol, and crafted the 3 Repeace pledges in my attempt to take the concept of "peace" into a new direction, and to "define" it as an "absence of fear." When I read Kennedy's words on striving for a "practical" peace, it only reinforced my effort and my vision to develop Repeace. Truly, I got goose bumps when I read that passage, because the 3 Repeace pledges had been crafted instinctively, without previous knowledge of JFK's speech.
JFK's words may be even more relevant than ever before. He said:
“I’m talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children – not merely peace for Americans, but peace for all men and women – not merely peace in our time, but peace for all time.”
“Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace – based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions – on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned.”
“A series of concrete actions and effective agreements, which are in the interest of all concerned,” are what Repeace is proposing with the three pledges, and those pledges are based on the need for more accountability from our leaders, our government and all our institutions.
Those agreements can promote the process of change, that we so desperately need now. Since a process takes time, the agreements will stay up on the main page so that we can see how many of us stand behind them. It is up to us to find out, if we pledge and educate others about their meaning, and their potential to become a massive online movement to promote transparent and accountable institutions.