I am a pacifist. I think the world is on a path leading to peace. That the need for any form of physical violence is waning. I truly believe that at some point, people will be brought up in a world where murder is rare and abhorrent, and where people seek out ways to celebrate the differences between themselves instead of using them to subjugate each other.
Humans have evolved to thrive on inequality. In times where resources were scarce and life was much more tenuous it was very important to know who was part of your family or group and who was not. Conflict built an amazing ability in us to recognize friend from foe, family from outsider. But we now live in a time where resources are not so scarce and where the threat of death by violence is less and less every year. Yet we have this leftover need to sort people, to categorize, and most harmfully judge these groups as better or worse.
This in-group / out-group thinking has given rise to religion, politics, and socio-economic rankings. We feel a strong need to belong, not just to humanity, but to ever specific groups. And the second we group ourselves we put ourselves at odds with others. We naturally encourage conflict and competition. Some of this is can be good, but a lot more of this is bad.
The Internet has helped break down a lot of those religious and political groupings. Being able to communicate across the world freely and without censure has led to people feeling connected, not just as families, or coworkers, or country-members, but as people. Global trade has made it increasingly hard for war to break out. We will probably never see another world war. What wars we do continue to see will be smaller and shorter. And more can be done than ever before by using education, international aid, and technology to prevent wars from ever happening in the first place.
I’m excited that my kids will live in a more peaceful world than I was born into. I’m hopeful that the rate at which we are getting more peaceful and less violent is increasing. And that it will be in the lives of myself or my children that we all can live in a world were war is rare and met with aid, not more war. I am willing to never take up arms in this pursuit and hope there are many more that will join me in working towards a more peaceful future.