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From humiliation to peace

Of all that threatens peace in our world, one of the strongest weapons of destruction is humiliation. It causes great pain and a sense of alienation and marginalisation. It crushes people's dignity and leads to despair. Persistent humiliation and injustice drives individuals, militant groups and nations to respond with violence, to kill and mutilate.

When humiliation has taken its toll in our cities and on the battlefields – how can a basis of trust and respect for each other be created, even when we disagree? How can we open the door to communication?

Some see domination, total victory, as the solution. However, in an age of nuclear capability, of 'smart' weaponry and suicide bomber desperation, escalations of war and conflict cause much suffering on all sides. There are no real winners.

The answer will not be found simply by negotiating or applying pressure; even less so by fighting and war. It can be found through a radical search for the causes of humiliation; and having the humility, honesty and humanity to accept where our group, nation, religion, power bloc has added to the stockpiles of injustices.

  • Source : Initiatives for Change, conference programme, 13 - 25 August 2007, Agenda for Reconciliation, Caux, Suisse. http://www.caux.ch/en/centre/programme/
  • Publication date : August 2007
  • Topics : Humiliation , Peace , Humanity , Respect , Violence , War