Friday we had excellent conversations in both US History classes regarding the prospect for peace by 2113 where we used President Wilson’s 14 Points as a model. We compiled and analyzed Rodriguez’s 20 Points which were “in a perfect world” your steps to obtain a lasting peace. I think most will agree that we have a better understanding of the challenges Wilson faced in 1918 and also the reasons Henry Cabot Lodge stood against Wilson and ideas like the League of Nations. Thank you for your opinions on peace which has proven to be a difficult but intriguing subject to tackle. As Herbert stated, ironically, “You can’t have a peaceful AND perfect world.”
I discovered war is much easier to discuss and perhaps do; but not anymore interesting. Here is a summary of our conversations. In war, one side seeks to take land, money or resources from the another and in the process, dehumanizes and kills the other to do so. War is often unilateral as one side reacts violently to another. But in peace, from our discussions and your posts, adversaries have to give something, to compromise and even help and build up one another, to see sides as equals and set aside and discuss differences. It sure is easier to color an adversary as a monster on a propaganda poster than explain or understand their point of view. On a global scale, we discovered these concessions meant perhaps giving away too much, and like Lodge, clearly our classes are not ready to give away freedoms that are inherent to Americans even if that means global peace. And I hope we don’t have to.
That is not to say that you shouldn’t strive for a just and peaceful world. Take for example, the words/phrases I wrote on the board from our discussions. They include: Cooperation, trust, respect, acceptance, set aside differences & bitterness, equality, prevent secrets. You hear these words every day during Examen which is daily reflection based on Ignatian Ideals. Remember these are very powerful words and ideas that you as students and future leaders should work to use throughout your individual lives. Global peace should be something to strive for but we should start in our own personal worlds with friends, teachers and family. Another way to view peace is something to defend and I hope you continue to do so through your ongoing Jesuit based education here at Marquette. Thank you again for this conversation.