Monday, August 27, 2007

Peacemaking or Peacemongering?

I came across an interesting post this morning. It describes peacemaking as doing the hard (and often uncomfortable) work of bringing people to emotional maturity. Peacemongering, on the other hand, is seeking to maintain a (false) peace by catering to the whims of the least emotionally mature.

The example the blogger used was a family going to a restaurant: the family has decided and is on their way to go to a Mexican place, but the six-year-old decides he wants McDonald's and is willing to protest the whole way, so the parents just wanting a peaceful evening with the family give in to the six-year-old, therefore rewarding him for his immaturity. I can see the point in this example, but does it hold water when applied to larger interpersonal relationships? What about international relationships?

I'm also wondering if this isn't setting the author up to make value judgments about other people's lifestyles or cultures and endorsing a "tough love" approach to making "them" more like "us" (homogenization). (Leading to labeling preemptive wars or wars under the guise of "liberation" as "peacemaking.") What do you think?

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  • Peace at any level requires cooperation and "give and take" from everybody. A church family is pretty much like every other family where sqabbles happen all the time. I'm kind of glad we use the majority rule.

    Maturity doesn't mean you have to be happy about something, it means that you accept it even when you're not happy with it.

    By Blogger Mike, at 7:31 PM  

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