PEACE

Rest in peace is carved on tens of thousands of gravestones up and down the country. People ask to be left in peace and insurance salesmen guarantee us peace of mind. The police attempt to keep the peace; there are peacekeeping forces dotted about the world in blue helmets, surrounded by the horrors of war. People on demonstrations demand peace now and peace with justice; some are accused of disturbing the peace. Some search for inner peace while others insist on peace with honour. The Americans have named a nuclear weapon the Peacekeeper, and the US airforce proudly boasts that ‘Peace is our profession’. 'Give peace a chance' goes the song widely adopted by the peace movement; but it's probably not sung during a peace process, which is rarely a peaceful activity. Over seventy years ago, people began to take a pledge for peace - there were hundreds of thousands of them, and today the organisation those people formed has produced this CD. Yet, despite the fact that everyone appears to want peace, it is still in short supply. (It has been calculated that between 3600 BC and today there have been only 292 years of peace; that there have been over 14,500 major wars in which close to 4 billion people have perished. The war dead thus come close to equalling the total population of the world today.)

We can begin to see from the wide and varied use of the word that the concept of peace is far from simple.