In this photograph, taken by a UNICEF photographer in the Côte d’Ivoire, during March 2011, two boys sleep on a bench outside a primary school in Danané. Over 750 people have taken refuge in the school to escape conflict in the area, part of the widespread violence that erupted after the 28 November 2010 presidential election. Over 41,000 Ivorians have now fled the country, and 42,000 are internally displaced. (1)
In 1879, General William Tecumseh Sherman said, War is Hell. He knew what he was talking about. War destroys not only lives and property, it destroys trust and hope and cooperation. It destroys all environments – including the environment we need to create if we are to flourish as a species.
As humanity is a complex dynamic system where all the parts are interconnected, it isn’t possible for any of us to flourish until all of us can flourish.
The necessary conditions for the development and flourishing of human beings don’t really exist even in apparently peaceful areas on the planet, while war exists anywhere. In this way, even distant wars damage our overall system and therefore our individual well-being.
If we want the best life possible for ourselves and our children, we all need an end to war – no matter where we live.