Jigsaw Peace: The Picture on the Box (World Peace and How to Achieve it)
In Miss Congeniality, the Beauty Queens are asked what important thing society needs – they know that the answer is “World Peace”. Our protagonist has a different suggestion, but she remembers to toe the line and mention world peace in the end.
But are there other priorities that get in the way of World Peace? If there is a Picture on the Box of My Peace Jigsaw, what does it look like?
If we take the “absence of war” definition, then the picture has no weapons, no conflicting ideologies, no invasions of others’ lands or territories.
If we take the “state of calm/lack of stress” definition the world suddenly looks like a very lazy place. I wonder if work precludes peace? I hope not.
In Isaiah 11 there is a description of a peaceful kingdom of which this is just a short extract (be relieved – I was sorely tempted to analyse the whole chapter!):
The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
It’s a vision that clashes so much with the way things are. With a bear and a cow we would fully expect the cow to be attacked, but in the peaceful kingdom, natural enemies allow their young to mix, to relax, to “lie down together”. To do that is surely a sign of unquestioning trust, that the other party has no ill will.
The natural predator, the lion has also given up that part of his nature that wounds and kills. In the peaceful kingdom, those in power don’t use their natural might to oppress others – there’s a picture of voluntary equality. The lion’s supremacy is put to the side for peace.
A third pairing – the child and the snake are described. There are immediate echoes of Genesis when the child and the snake were pitted against each other; when the snake was cursed, God said:
“You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.
In the peaceful kingdom this curse is lifted. Where we would see the incident and give an intake of breath waiting for the inevitable bite and cry, in the peaceful kingdom there is only harmony.
So, what would world peace look like? For us it would look like a powder keg ready to go up – enemies sitting side by side. We would hold our breath and expect the worst. In our world, when this happens, we expect trouble – we would probably try to keep enemies apart to avoid a scuffle.
The animals and the child in the vision of the peaceful kingdom seem to have forgotten the animosity of generations.
Maybe that’s a strategy to try.