The most ignorant thing is thinking that how we see things is how things are. How we see things is our interpretation of reality, of how things are. Alfred Korzybski and S.I. Hayakawa and others have explored the differences between our perceptions of reality and reality "just as it is" in their books on "General Semantics," which should be required reading in all high schools worldwide. What we make of the world positions us to respond to the world as though it is what we think it is. We are boxing with shadows, wrestling with ghosts, and creating a hell of a mess of things thereby. We have to step back, sit down, be quiet, and observe ourselves thinking, see ourselves seeing, hear ourselves speaking, feel ourselves feeling, and just watch what is going on-- without becoming engaged by any of it, beyond becoming curious about the things that trigger emotional responses in us. Get to the bottom of it without being hooked by it, and develop a sense of the difference between you and the things that make up your world. "There is more to everything than meets the eye." Get to know what that means.
When has peace ever been established and maintained without killing somebody and/or threatening to kill somebody? And how is ostracizing, banishing, barring, expelling somebody different from killing them in societies where the tribe is the foundation of life? Why can't we live together without the threat of death or abandonment? When have compassion and goodwill ever been the foundation of lasting peace? What does it take to live together in ways that are good for everybody? Why are there assholes who refuse to abide by the rules governing the behavior of everyone? We have to have laws with execution attached to deal with the Genghis Khan's and the Jeffery Dahmer's of the world because they can't be trusted to stay on their side of the line. Rodney King nailed it with his, "Why can't we just get along?" Why can't we? How would have Jesus imposed and maintained the peace? The Buddha? Gandhi? We don't know, and it is easy to imagine that they wouldn't have. Jesus died refusing to take up arms against the Romans. The Buddha had an alliance with the princes/kings of his day based on his promise of merit and Nirvana. Gandhi was assassinated because he didn't have armed bodyguards. And the Dalai Lama's bodyguards carry automatic weapons (Square that up with compassion if you can). Death, or the threat of it, is the only basis of lasting peace. This is a contrary equal to life eating life-- to life depending on the death of something. Peace depends on the death of something. Life depends on the death of something. Death is the source/foundation of life. And we have to make our peace with that. How's that coming along for you? We have to dance with the contradictions-- not deny them-- "Joyfully participating in the suffering/sorrows of the world"-- all our life long. And then, we die, and merge with the contradictions at the heart of life. Contradiction and compromise all the way down.
We are never more than a slight perspective shift away from having it made. Having it made is being at peace with our circumstances, no matter what they are. How long has it been? Since we, individually, collectively, corporately, as a person, a nation, as a world, been at peace with our circumstances? Know why? Expectations. Aspirations. Greed. Fear. Agendas. Opinions. Know what it takes? The right kind of emptiness, stillness, silence, and the willingness/ability to "Joyfully participate in the suffering/sorrows of the world"-- which is the willingness/ability to say "YES!" to life just as it is (Joseph Campbell). The trick of having/maintaining the right kind of perspective is a regular return to the right kind of emptiness, stillness, silence, in the right kind of way.