The Alliance of the New Humanity: A remarkable peace initiative.
Inside the gigantic hotel and conference centre of a Puerto Rican resort, you only catch a glimpse of the gateway to peace after you’ve passed several stands promoting pills and powders.The gateway to peace has been set up by the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress, an initiative of Oscar Ariaz Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica, 1987 Nobel Peace Prize winner and one of the founders of the ‘Alliance of the new humanity’.
The new humanity. A concept certainly not lacking in ambition. Saddam Hussein has just been captured. America, or at any rate its president, tastes sweet revenge. A new international alliance is trying to take a crucial step towards tangible, fundamental peace. The Indian/American doctor and author Deepak Chopra took the initiative to organise this recent gathering in Puerto Rico. Along with Ariaz, Chopra teamed up with the 1976 Irish Nobel Peace Prize winner Betty Williams, the Italian founder of the third world press service IPS Roberto Savio and pop star Ricki Martin, among others. This group was joined by 500 participants from various countries, with the majority coming from America.
The Alliance wants to give peace a helping hand by offering a platform to those in the world dedicated to humanity. Not to a particular aspect, nor a country, nor a group, but to the whole. The aim of the global platform is to bring together a critical mass of people to influence politics and behaviour across the world. In the words of Deepak Chopra: ‘I hope that if not in my lifetime then in my children’s lifetime, we will have a global mindset where we don’t have to solve every problem through violence; where we could have a healthy environment; where we get rid of these deep economic differences that really separate people. “Me and mine” should disappear all together and we should start thinking about all common humanity.’
There have been other peace initiatives. Many, in fact. Thankfully. And yet this one is a remarkably innovative initiative. Because the Alliance of the new humanity chooses ‘love’, without hesitation, as the only real medicine for what’s ailing the world. Love. A word you won’t hear often at the Peace Palace of the United Nations International Court of Justice in Dutch city of The Hague. After all, peace has to do with serious political issues.
But in a moving appeal, Thomas Lewis, the American professor at the Medical School of the University of California and author of ‘A general theory of love’, made clear that love is the key to peace. There is plenty of evidence. Research has shown that monkeys that are separated from their mothers right after birth and raised without either parent become extremely violent. People that feel loved are less often ill. Having a dog is better ‘medicine’ for high blood pressure than pills. Contact appears to be more important for the health and development of children than eating and drinking. ‘And then,’ says Lewis, ‘when you think that there are continually millions of children worldwide who grow up without any real care or attention from their parents, you realise the true source of violence in the world.’
That love can change the world was not called into question. The words of Martin Luther King hung on the wall: ‘There is an explosion of love in every one of us that is more powerful than the explosion of an atom bomb.’ But as author and one of the initiators of the alliance, Marianne Williamson, also pointed out, ‘We have all cheated on love so many times, we should be ashamed,’ adding hopefully, ‘But we have learned and we can make a new choice.’ Therein lies the challenge that Lewis proceeded to define. ‘Love does not evolve by itself. Love must be “made”. Time and again, just as you must knead the dough for each new loaf of bread.’
Does the alliance’s appeal for love offer new insight? Itt does. If we realise that peace begins with – parental – love, our priorities change. A case in point is Ray Chambers, who made a fortune in investment banking, which he now spends running a network of mentors in the United States to care for children who didn’t get enough attention from their parents. Chambers’ mentor network now cares for a million American children. The results are spectacular even when mentors pose the simplest questions to these children who – for all intents and purposes – are orphaned, like ‘what do you want to do with your life?’ or ‘what makes you happy?’ Chambers’s moving story offered a human illustration to accompany Thomas Lewis’s slide show of a German shepherd dog in the garden of a veterinarian that naturally took on the care of two young tigers that had no mother. Lewis’s point was that love always tries to find a way.
The contrast between words and reality may well have been clearest in Al Gore’s keynote speech to the Alliance. Gore spoke with convincing passion about the need to take a radically different approach to the environment. He seemed freed from politics and finally able to speak from his heart and out of love. It’s a real tragedy that politicians have to become ex-politicians in order to get to that stage. Which is exactly the point of an initiative like that of the New Alliance. The world desperately needs every platform imaginable that can help more people dare to follow their hearts and express their love.
For more information see: www.anhglobal.org