Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Schematic for Peace: The Source

On my previous posting I suggested that complex systems can be pictorially represented by the use of schematics. This is similar to one of the tools we use in conflict analysis called mapping of actors. This mapping tool tries to see all the persons/organizational entities involved in the conflict and depict their relationships or lack thereof. In a schematic for peace we will start with the basic components and see how they interact in any given conflict.

The first schematic component we need to explore is the source. An electrical circuit is useless without some source of electrons to make it work. The source is an apt description because all electrons flow from this device through the copper wires or traces on a circuit board and let the other components fulfill their purpose.

I once had a friend who described peace and justice as a river from God. The river flows well until some impediment blocks the flow of the river. It is our duty to wade into the water and remove the obstacles so that the channel is clear again. The point here is that we do not create peace and justice. It flows naturally from the Higher Power.

In our schematic then, the source of peace and justice is depicted in two forms. The first one, drawn on the previous posting, is an infinite supply of electricity in the form of an AC generator. The second depiction is that of a battery as the source of electrons. A battery is finite and is either disposable or rechargeable. I like the idea of peacebuilders as rechargeable batteries. We can create a finite peace within our circuit of influence but ultimately need recharging from the unlimited, ultimate SOURCE.

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