US is in serious need for a Peace Train (a reprise)

This post was written five years ago, yet it still resonates today as conditions have deteriorated here in the US and some places abroad. Fear mongering and finger pointing by wanna-be leaders have taken us further down a dark path. We must demand more from people in leadership positions and we must do our part to be civil and keep the peace.

One of my favorite Yusuf/ Cat Stevens’ songs is called “Peace Train.” It is also one of his more memorable hits. Here are few lyrics:

I’ve been crying lately
Thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating?
Why can’t we live in bliss?

For out on the edge of darkness
There rides the peace train
Peace train take this country
Come take me home again

We should heed its words around the globe, but especially here in the US. It did not come as a shock to me in the annual Global Peace Index, the US ranks fairly low coming in 103rd out of 163 countries. Per the  attached article:

“The index, put together by the Institute for Economics and Peace, an international think tank, defines peace as ‘the absence of violence or the fear of violence.’ It covers three ‘domains’: the level of ongoing domestic and international conflict; the level of ‘societal safety and security’ (things such as murders, terrorism, and riots); and the level of militarization, both domestic and international.”

The US scores poorly on the amount of money we spend on incarceration and militarization, both domestically and abroad. Plus, we have more gun deaths than in the other 23 wealthiest nations combined. The highest scoring and most peaceful countries are Iceland, Denmark and Austria. The least peaceful were Libya, Sudan and Ukraine.

The article notes the world is a less safer place than in the previous year. So, we all have our work cut out for us. But, we could start at home by being more civil to one another, shining spotlights on bigotry, reducing incarcerations for petty crimes and having better governance over gun access. At least that is my opinion.

http://www.fastcoexist.com/3060968/in-case-it-wasnt-obvious-the-us-ranks-very-low-on-the-global-peace-index

31 thoughts on “US is in serious need for a Peace Train (a reprise)

  1. Why are there not more folks like you, Keith. Enlightened ones. Lessening militarism and access to gun is a no brainer for a safer society. This concept of needing a weapon to protect yourself is something out of an apocalyptic movie, isnt’ it? Not a developed country with a top economy.

    • Amanda, many thanks. You are very kind. The weapons are one thing, but it is the so-called leaders who teach us to fear the other that may be at the heart of all of this. Plus, the sycophants who echo such a person’s inane remarks deserve criticism and questions. Keith

      • The Fear, Keith. It might come from self-doubt and insecurity or in times of great uncertainty. Trying to control change might be the underlying aim. In times of instability or change, fear might grow stronger and the mind sees the only way to cope as forcing others to see the same point of view. The weapon makes them feel stronger in the face of unpredictability. This is force and fear in the guise as protection.
        The leader can assuage or promulgate this fear. The Nazis used it effectively didn’t they as an excuse for far-reaching discretionary powers?
        What do you think?

      • Amanda, agreed on the Nazi’s use of fear. Think of the crusades, the inquisition, etc. Fear has been around a long time. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: A train seems to be an excellent metaphor for needed change. Bruce Springsteen has a terrific song called “The Land of Hope and Dreams, ” whose chorus is punctuated by “This train….” Keith

  3. The answer is easy, getting there like climbing up Everest.
    One Side is easily identifiable. White. Nominally Christian. Pro-Gun. Right-Wing. Obsessed with conspiracies if things do not go their way. Assisted by some disaffected Cuban and South-East Asians (though that group will evaporate since Trump’s Chinese disease comments on Covid).
    The opposition is everyone else. If everyone else appreciates the threat to them is united and thus acts likewise, focusing on that, there is a chance the USA will come out of this intact.
    It will be a long hard road back though.

  4. This is the perfect song for the times. I’ve played it twice, most recently last November, but for the past week I’ve had a strong urge to play it again anyway. The U.S. is declining in many indexes .. the Global Peace Index as you mentioned, but also the Global Education index, the Global Happiness Index, and others. The question is … what are we going to do about it? Sigh. I have no answers, at least none that the powers-that-be would care to hear.

    • Jill, to your question, too many are going to blame the other side. Michael Jackson’s plea about starting with the “Man in the Mirror” also needs to be sung loudly. Keith

  5. Pingback: ♫ Get Together ♫ (Redux) | Filosofa's Word

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