WHY DON’T PEOPLE BUILD PEACE?
This is in response to the often asked question, “Why is Person
‘A’ doing so much to promote peace, while there are so many others in
his/her organization and generally who appear to underachieve their potential to
contribute to a Culture of Peace and Non-violence?”
OVERVIEW OF A CONTINUUM OF PEACE PASSION AND
Highest level/Peak Performers Characteristics:
developed Social, Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence
Wisdom (right understanding, view, thought, intention)
Ethical conduct/personal integrity (right speech, action, livelihood)
Mental discipline/concentration (right effort, mindfulness, attention)
Optimism/Hope (high in Maslow’s needs satisfaction, self-esteem and self-actualization; note 3)
Development Levels (note 2):
Hearts and Minds in Right Place/Learners (Well-intentioned):
D4 – High Competence/High Commitment
D3 – High Competence/Variable Commitment
D2 – Some Competence/Low Commitment
D1 – Low Competence/High Commitment
D½ – Distracted/Struggling for Survival/Diminished Responsibility
Hearts and Minds not in Right Place/Non-learners (No/Negative Competence/Commitment; Poorly-intentioned):
D(1) – Unresponsible/Given to a Higher Power (God/Government/Leader)
D(2) – Unaware/Uninterested/Lazy/Self-interest
D(3) – Unethical/Vested Interest in Status Quo
D(4) – Homicidal/Co-homicidal/Mental Problems Severity
Lowest level/Violent Performers Characteristics:
developed Social, Emotional and Spiritual Intelligence
Deviant (wrong understanding, view, thought, intention, effort, mindfulness, attention)
Unethical conduct/personal integrity (wrong speech, action, livelihood)
Don’t Care/Care about wrong things/Lack love and belonging (‘family’)
Pessimism/No Hope/Lack self-esteem and self-actualization
Negatively motivated/likely were victims of violence seeking ‘justice’/control
Vested interest in direct and indirect/systemic violence; greedy for power, wealth
Negative effectiveness/Dysfunctional (low in Maslow’s Hierarchy needs satisfaction; note 3)
The overview helps us to understand the characteristics, development levels, required leadership styles and need for direction and support to help people build a Culture of Peace.
It also helps provide clarity in where to spend our time, efforts and resources. Less is required with those higher up the continuum towards Peak Peace Performers. More is required with those lower in the continuum of more Violent Performers. Nevertheless, a lot of work is required. We must deal with all in the continuum, but if our resources are constrained then our first response is to those who’s hearts and minds are in the right place (the more highly developed) so that they can widen their circles of influence faster (effectively, trickling down throughout the system, to the less developed).
Our goal is to help people in our communities and world move from lower levels of social development to higher levels, and ultimately to develop a passion for peace.
We will have to “walk a mile in their shoes” to increase our understanding of their minds, thoughts, feelings, and motivations. They will not come to us (or rarely do). We will have to go to them, and speak in language and sentiment that they understand.
A specific individual may have a variety of development levels depending upon the specific situation. For example, I may be fairly highly developed with respect to understanding and intention, but I may be lesser developed with respect to speech and action. Accordingly, the same individual may have different needs for direction and support depending upon the specific situation being addressed.
An organization (eg. Service Club) may have a variety of individuals at a variety of development levels. For example, Person ‘X’ may be fairly highly developed with respect to Social Intelligence while Person ‘Y’ may be lesser developed. Accordingly, different people in the organization will have different needs for direction and support, and same people may have different needs depending upon the specific situation being addressed. In general, some organizations may be fairly highly developed (in total) compared to other organizations in the same field that may be lesser developed. Hence, different organizations will have different needs for direction and support.
It is important to understand that no one is perfect, particularly with respect to social, emotional and spiritual intelligence. It is a beacon to strive for (just as the North Star points the way North, and peace is a journey not a destination). It is for the reader only to judge their own development.
by Robert Stewart, C.A., C.M.C.
Director, Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace http://www.peace.ca and
Director, Canadian Culture of Peace Program http://www.cultureofpeace.ca
October 20, 2005
Note 1 - This writer's technology is limited. If it was possible, I would have chosen to show the continuum going from left (being Lowest Level/Violent Performers) to right (being Highest Level/Peak Peace Performers), with an arrow going from left to right showing the preferred direction of development. The line in the middle is a mid-point. Since I was unable to show the continuum this way, please try to remember this perspective, and keeping in mind an arrow on the left hand side going from the bottom to the top, being the preferred direction of development.
Note 2 - The concept of Development Levels is borrowed from Ken Blanchard's work on Situational Leadership. Blanchard has a wonderful chart (below) which shows the different styles of leadership to be used depending upon the Development Levels of the followers in a particular situation:
Note 3 - Maslow's hierarchy of needs