Tod Howard Hawks
PREAMBLE: All we have is our little planet, Earth. For the vast majority of my life, I have thought, “What would it be like to have Peace on Earth?” But for only two, maybe three, weeks every year, usually around Christmas, I would see the phrase “Peace on Earth,” mostly on Christmas cards. But after Christmas, I would not hear or see that sanguine notion for 11 more months. The longer I lived, the more this annual ritual bothered me. At Andover, I had studied European history. At Columbia, I had majored in American history. Over time, I increasingly came to the realization that in both prep school and college, I had essentially been studying about wars on top of wars and their aftermaths: millions and millions and millions of human beings being killed. Most scholars believed only a little over 200, out of roughly 3,400 years of recorded history, were deemed “peaceful.” Humanity, I concluded, had a horrible track record when it came to effectuating “Peace on Earth.” And during my lifetime things have not gotten any better.
SPIRITUAL ECOLOGY: There is one land, one sky, one sea, one people. The boundaries that divide us are not on maps, but in our minds and hearts. Earth is as poor as its most destitute Citizen, as healthy as her sickest, as educated as her most ignorant. If we pollute the upper waters of the Mississippi, then ineluctably we shall pollute the Indian Ocean. If we continue to pollute our air, the current 7,500,000,000 Citizens on Earth will die. The water and air of the world care nothing about national borders, nor does the pandemic. The imminent threats of nuclear holocaust and catastrophic climate change we need urgently to prevent. This is the truth of Spiritual Ecology.
CAMPAIGN FOR EARTH: If we can wage war, why should we not wage peace? Nations are anachronistic. Therefore, there will be none. There will only be Earth and Citizens of Earth. Each Citizen will devote a sizable number of years of her/his life to the betterment of humankind and Earth. All military weapons — from handguns to hydrogen bombs — will be destroyed, and any future weapons will be prohibited. All jails and prisons will be closed, replaced by Love Centers (see below). Automation and other technological advances will enhance the opportunity for all Citizens exponentially to realize their potential, personally and spiritually. There will be no money. All precious resources and assets of Earth will be distributed equally among all Citizens. The only things Citizens will own are the right to be treated well and the responsibility to treat Earth and all its Citizens well. All Citizens will be free to travel anywhere, at any time, on Earth. All Citizens will be free to choose their own personal and professional goals, but will do no harm to Earth or other Citizens. All Citizens will be afforded the same resources to live a full, safe, and satisfying life, including the best education, health care, housing, food, and other necessities throughout Earth.
LOVE: The only way to change anything for the good, for good, is through love. Love is what every living creation on Earth needs. Love Centers are for those Citizens who were not loved enough, or at all, especially at their earliest of ages. Concomitantly, they act out their pain hurtfully, sometimes lethally, often against other Citizens. Citizens who are emotionally ill will be separated from those who are not. Jails and prisons only abet this deleterious situation. Some Citizens in pain may need to be constrained in Love Centers humanely while they recover, through being loved, so they do not hurt themselves or others. In some extreme cases, Citizens may be in so much pain that they remain violent for a long time. Thus, they may need to be constrained for the rest of their lives, but always loved, never punished. In time, Citizens, when loved enough, will only have love to give, and the need for Love Centers will commensurately decline.
EARTH: In 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt chaired the commission that wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. UDHR, with some updates and revisions, will serve as the moral and legal guidepost for Earth.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY: To honor and remember the former nations on Earth, one member will be elected by Citizens from each of these former nations to serve a one five-year term as a member of the General Assembly. In succeeding elections, Citizens currently residing at that time in areas that were formerly nations, will again, in perpetuity, vote for one Citizen also residing in that area, for a one five-year term as a member of the General Assembly.
FIRST VOTE: The first vote of all Citizens will be to establish CAMPAIGN FOR EARTH. Majority rules. Citizens will have to be 18 years old or older to vote. All Citizens will have access to Internet voting, as well as access to smart phones and other types of computers. Citizens will have her/his own secured ID codes. Citizens will be encouraged to bring before the General Assembly all ideas and recommendations, as well as any concerns or complaints, which will be considered and responded to promptly. Citizens’ ideas and recommendations will be formed into proposals drafted by members of the General Assembly. Citizens will have the first two weeks of each month, every month, to vote on these proposals of the previous month. Members of the General Assembly will be facilitators who will work with millions of volunteers. Citizens of Earth will be the Earth’s government. There will be no president of Earth.
ALLCOTT MOVEMENT: Citizens of Earth will instigate the Allcott Movement-not boy-, not girl-, not woman-, not man-. but the nonviolent Allcott Movement-against each multinational corporation and every mega-rich individual unwilling to abide by the democratically held, worldwide vote in favor of the CAMPAIGN FOR EARTH. Citizens will continue to use the nonviolent boycott against recalcitrant multinational corporations, and, in a similar nonviolent manner, will continue to use viable pressures against the recalcitrant mega-rich of the world. All smaller-business wealth will be converted into resources to be distributed equally among all Citizens. All proceeds in excess of what’s needed reasonably by each Citizen will be saved for future generations. Consequently, Earth, which for millennia has been turned inside-out will be turned right-side in. Citizens will take these steps because they are the moral, the right, steps to take to save all of us, all other living creations on Earth, and Earth itself.
CELEBRATE AND SHARE: If you were to take a photograph of humanity and gaze at it, you would see a beautiful mosaic of mankind of different, beautiful colors. If you could step into the photograph, you would hear a melody of languages and dialects. You could have a worldwide picnic with all your sisters and brothers and experience different customs and taste different, delicious foods. And in moments of silence, all of you could pray in your different religions, separate but together at the same time. You would also share the same human laughter and joys and feel the same sorrows and cry the same tears, all in Peace on Earth eternal. All of you would come to delight in these differences, not dread them. You would look forward to celebrating and sharing with your family, not killing them. The spiritual whole would be larger than the sum of its sacred parts.
A QUANTUM LEAP: The world, over millennia, keeps evolving. Over 3,200 years of recorded history, powers, nations keep shifting, sometime seismically. Now is the time for not only the grandest seismic shift ever, but also the one that will save Earth and all living creations upon it. It is time for Earth to become Earth--not a scattering of over 200 nations with artificial borders, but an Earth that has one land, one sea, one sky, one people. The boundaries that have simplistically divided us for eons are not on maps, but in our minds and hearts. The air and water of Earth, even the pandemic, take no notice of national borders, nor should we, the Citizens of Earth. Technology, with its innumerable advances, has made us into a world when all can become one. We are free to be our real selves, to spend our variegated lives not aggrandizing, but by sharing and giving. Rather than dreading our superficial differences--our different skin colors, our different cultures, our different religions, our different languages--we can explore and enjoy them. Let us finally be what we truly have been forever, one big, worldwide family of humanity. No more wars, no more weapons, no more killing. No more hunger, no more homelessness, no more hopelessness. No more ignorance, no more illnesses, no more social classes. This is the quantum leap of which I speak.
PEACE ON EARTH: Wealth is not worth. The mansuetude of loving, and being loved, is. When love is your currency, all else is counterfeit. Citizens will be able to go about creating their own happiness that is built on love-based personal relationships and professional activities. No longer will human beings be able to profit from another’s pain. With love at the center of being and living, there will be no more corruption, no more dictators, no more wars. Finally, there will only be Peace on Earth forever.
A graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and Columbia College, Columbia University, Tod Howard Hawks is a poet and human-rights activist.