“Here, then, is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war?”
The question posed by Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russel in 1955 leads us to another one: Is it easier for you to imagine the end of the human race or the end of war?
If we’re being realistic, most of us would admit that it’s easier to imagine us killing each other - through war, disease or climate related catastrophe - than to imagine the end of war. That’s a horrible place to be more than six decades after the warning from two men who had lived through the brutal wars of the early 20th century.
Why does hate seem to be winning? Most of us will answer this question by naming someone or a group of people. "Saddam’s Iraq tried to undo the Iranian revolution,” “George W Bush charged into Iraq," "Boko Haram is causing havoc in West Africa," and so on. These statements are not necessarily untrue, but they are only part of the reason that war is easier to imagine than peace.
What is the rest of the story? The history of war proves that prejudging of others (prejudice) is the propeller that pushes us into approving violence. Leaders can only lead us to war and conflict because our individual or collective prejudices makes us easy to manipulate. It is not difficult to attack someone if we consider them evil, inhuman and loathful. Each war makes our tribes grow further apart, whether we define them in terms of race or religion or anything else. If we don’t grow up sharing living spaces, schools and work places with others, we have no way of knowing them and seeing the potential of a friend in them.
How can we stop the politics of dehumanization? There’s really only one way. We must all actively question our prejudices and plant seeds of love. That means attacking those who attack others, not because of the community they belong to, but for the lies and hatred that they spread. It means that each of us who believes in one human family must go out there and become a Peace Vigilante - someone who challenges prejudice and hatred and who plants seeds of hope and peace.
Our seeds are on this website. Our quizzes are designed to identify and challenge prejudice you might find within yourself or in your community. Our songs will inspire you and help you inspire others to heed the call for peace. And our videos will offer you amusing insights into the politics of prejudice.
But our seeds are nothing if you don’t plant them. Right now at your school, home, workplace or community centre, the weed of prejudice is trying to take root. People of a certain race, gender, caste, or religion are being demonized. Sometimes by nasty people, but usually by people who don’t know any better. Others, especially children, are unconsciously adopting attitudes of hatred, attitudes that they will spread to future generations. This site offers you tools to go out there, uproot those weeds and plant your own seeds of peace.
We’re really grateful to all our supporters especially those who use Patreon. Without your feedback, we don’t know how our tools are being used, so please let us know what you think of our tools and our site.
Love and solidarity to our human family,
Shirin and Sameer on behalf of