A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh (1926), served in World War I, where 10 million men and 1.5 million women and children died. In his book Peace with Honour (1934), Milne hoped to offer some sanity and intelligence regarding the need for peace at a difficult time in Europe, at the outset of World War II. He was optimistic that if what he suggested was adopted, war could be avoided.
Milne writes “War must be renounced, first by the heads and political leaders of every nation, as well as news editors and military chiefs, and then by each citizen and member of the nation. Each must take an oath to renounce active/aggressive war, as well as defensive war. War, as an idea, must be renounced in favour of peace.”
Milne suggested that leaders, editors, chiefs or anyone who is guilty of breaking their oath and instead promotes force and war, should be brought before an arbitration panel made up of impartial world judges (a recognized world court that has arbitration and legal authority recognized by all), and be judged and sentenced accordingly. Their potential banishment or imprisonment would thus save the lives of perhaps millions of men, women and children, and preserve peace in the process.
Milne said “War and fighting are not natural, are not human nature. Peace is natural.”
I believe that is we want peace in the world, we must also provide food, shelter, love, education, and health care for everyone on the planet so that all my thrive in their communities and within the global community, in oneness. With everyone’s needs met, the natural choice will be peace. Crimes against one another and humanity, at the local and global level, will end.
At the same time we must renounce making war against the planet, nature and the various dimensions of the environment, and recognize that Mother Earth has the same moral and legal rights as people, communities or any other entity, and is entitled to exist in peace, flourish and prosper in health, naturally and sustainably.
I envision a better, kinder world (as in John Lennon’s peace song, Imagine, 1971) where we create and live peacefully and inclusively in local communities, and do away with nations, borders, patriotism, corrupt leaders and systems, fear, anger, and greed. We can make it a reality by choosing compassion, love, light, joy and peace, and renouncing war.
Finally, as Charles Dickens write of Scrooge in 1843, let it also be said of us that at all times we keep the spirit of Christmas well, and as Tiny Tim observed, “God bless us everyone.”
Cal Pawson, White Rock