We need a new term for the harmony and radical transformation we seek that lies somewhere new in the fields between peace and violence.
Coming off the annual high of MLK Day, we’re reminded of the attraction of both ideals (riotous discontent has its place), and of the shortcomings of each in major degrees.
Which is why I propose a comfortable hybrid; an upgrade, that goes beyond the failures of the compromises of the past – compromises that often tried to appease the disputing advocates for each perspective by mouthing the best of each but settling on an ineffective and unstable patch of false bravados.
We need to accept that even good expectations have a taste of badness, just as bad ones can bring about goodness. Hence my alternative: PEACE-olence.
IMHO, this reconceptualization puts peace first but doesn’t downplay the fact that we need radical, profound, dramatic and sometimes even destructive change.
The future is heading towards us at the speed of a digital rocket, and there is no getting around the reality that it will destroy many social, cultural and even economic conventions. And we owe it to ourselves and the future to have our eyes and capabilities open to this wide-ranging truth.
Before everyone gets in a tizzy about my putting peace and violence on a loving teeter-totter (where each side gets deserving traction at some point to make the game worth playing), think about where we are in the evolution of our society, and in particular of our business, communications and connectivity levels. The best that has come out of the innovations of these sectors is thought of these days as being DISRUPTIVE, which is a rather violent expression, because they literally blow our past expectations away.
Not sure about this? Google “disruptive innovations” on the phone in your hand. Then share the results with the half the world now within your reach. See if they like your take on the results, good or bad.
As for peace, that’s problematic also; more than most of us like to admit. One person’s or group’s version involves unleashing classified security documents to let openness and honesty club secrecy and deception, while another lets us speak pornographically from the privacy of our home front – on the assumption that no one knows of our preferences.
Not being able to fathom this killed the King.
PEACE-olence, to me, does a good job of reminding us that our last efforts haven’t worked S we like. Injustices prevail, protests are getting angrier, and we use impersonal means to destroy people, places and facts from a false sense of distance – some would say like a sniper oblivious to the narrowness of his own dramatically false sense of patriotism.
Let’s put PEACE first but also not be afraid to play on the balance of a reality where riots and wars and dissatisfaction still prevail.
PEACE-olence works for me!