The word peace has become more important, more valuable, and unfortunately in some parts of the globe, more rare. According to a recent study released by The Institute for Economic and Peace (IEP), a leading think-tank which develops one of the world’s primary gauge of “global peacefulness,” only 11 out of 162 countries in the world today are not involved in conflict of one kind or another.
The study also noted that as a whole, the globe is becoming less peaceful every year since 2007.
A Wars in Progress list updated on July 2014 by Professor Joshua Goldstein shows that there are currently 10 wars and 8 serious armed conflicts at present. The ongoing war in Syria being the most deadly, claiming an estimated 170,000 lives in the past three years.
There is also the rise of the notorious and barbaric Islamic State, which made its first entry into Iraq in January, and has since been staging public executions and mandating people to submit to strict Islamic codes of behavior. Last week, it beheaded American journalist James Foley, showcasing the gruesome deed in a video posted on YouTube.
All these events – atrocities, crimes, and devastations – are enough to say that peace has been elusive in a macro-scale. Global trade agreements, international market integrations, and multilateral talks have done little to prevent peoples from killing each other.
The Arab Spring, which initially signaled a new wave of hope, freedom, and opportunity for those in the Middle East has since become starting points of instability and turmoil, manifesting in swift regime changes and sectarian violence.
Despite all this scarcity in stability, we are seemingly more connected than ever. Social media, both a tool for keeping in touch and a modern-day alibi for keeping ourselves distracted, claims multitudes of users.
Facebook has surpassed a billion users, basically reaching 1 out of 6 humans in the planet. WhatsApp, a mobile messaging platform (owned by Facebook) boasts 500 million users with the goal of expanding to 1 billion.
There is a continuous hunger to stay connected, regardless of where you are in the world. WiFi and 4G LTE are all the rage and airports, bus terminals, restaurants, schools, and malls all provide free to low-cost access to Internet. Foundations like Internet.org continuous to push for a more connected globe.
But despite this move towards a more connected world, many of us are at odds with each other, and at times even ourselves.
We are more informed, but also more distracted. We are more connected, but more in conflict.
“World peace” has been deemed a funny response for pageants, a beauty queen’s standard answer on a question regarding her wish for the earth’s inhabitants.
Today more than ever, it’s a serious necessity, the lack of which is costing lives by the hour.