"True peace is always possible. Yet it requires strength and practice, particularly in times of great difficulty. To some, peace and nonviolence are synonymous with passivity and weakness. In truth, practicing peace and nonviolence is far from passive. To practice peace, to make peace alive in us, is to actively cultivate understanding, love, and compassion, even in the face of misperception and conflict. Practicing peace, especially in times of war, requires courage."
Thich Nhat Hanh
John Lennon composed the great peace chant in the 60s, "All we are saying is give peace a chance." This is a nice sentiment but it takes much more to create peace than just giving it a chance. Peace requires listening to our enemies or those who disagree with us and we experience conflict with, and learing about their expectations, requirements, and preferences so that we can understand their position, their point of view. Once we have understood we seek to negotiate an agreement we both can live with. This may require that we give up something to get something. Operating from empathy, compassion, and trust requires courage and awareness. Exacting accountability at the same time we operate fairly requires discipline and intelligence.
Intelligence, awareness, discipline, fairness, and compassion are qualities of character which most politicians, unfortunately, are lacking. Politicians, too often, operate from a "might makes right" assumption which is not a basis for lasting and healthy relationships.