The world seems to keep lurching toward disunity and conflict, and the stakes are growing larger. There are so many bad actors on the stage, and so many selfish motives in the wings, it’s hard to see the elusive goal of world peace as anything but an unattainable dream. Humankind seems incapable of unifying for its own good. For these reasons, many of us fret that things will probably get worse, not better, and agonize because there seems to be nothing anyone can do about it. It’s just out of our hands.
That’s why a book called Peace for Our Planet: A New Approach by author Roya Akhavan, Ph.D., struck me as such a marvel. This engaging and concise work did an admirable job of pulling me out of my despair. It refreshingly separates the goal of peace and the process for attaining it from partisan politics, which immediately makes the book ideal as a discussion guide for people of all faiths and political persuasions, heading off arguments before they begin and establishing provocative but unarguable truths that get heads nodding.
The basic premise of the book is that there are two parallel processes at work in world society. The first is a process of destruction and disintegration, which is easy to see occurring today. This process is the result of outworn and destructive mindsets that for millennia have spawned multiple wars. These outdated mindsets—racism, nationalism, religious conflict, gender inequality and the ever-widening gulf between extreme wealth and poverty—have been exposed as engines of destruction and disunity producing evils such as terrorism, refugee crises, human rights abuses, wars and intense human suffering.
A second constructive process, however, has been gaining momentum and Dr. Akhavan builds a convincing case that this process of collaboration and action based on the recognition of human rights and the dignity of all people surely will win out.
Dr. Akhavan points out that as these twin processes unfold, at times it may seem that progress has been lost and conditions in the world have worsened, causing us to become angry, even hopeless. But if we truly understand the robustness of the constructive process, we can make out its unrelenting, unhindered movement forward on its own plane. The key is in recognizing the power and momentum of the constructive process, and Dr. Akhavan helps us do just that.
This is an immensely encouraging book, but even more importantly, it lays out fundamental actions that society in general and we as individuals can take to nurture and facilitate the constructive process and accelerate its conquest of the forces of disintegration.
I recommend this groundbreaking book for everyone. Calumet Editions through its Wisdom Editions imprint is proud to have published it.