November 1, 2017

The World Peace Pledge


About The World Peace Pledge:

My name is Randy Cooper, and I am the creator of the World Peace Pledge. Personally, I strongly believe in the Peace Pledge and its principles, and I honestly believe that it has the potential to do a lot of good around the world. My hope is that many of you will see the same potential I do, make the Pledge, share it with others, and unite behind its principles to create a new voice and grass-roots movement promoting peace and unity from the bottom up.

This is, in kind, a sort of social experiment for me, and at this point, I don’t really know what kind of success it will bring, if any, but the one thing that I do know is that I have a lot of faith in the power and general goodness of humanity. I truly do believe that there are a lot of really good people out there, all around the world, who truly do want peace in their lives, who will make the Pledge, who will share it with others, and who will raise their voice in support of it. Only time will tell if I am correct, but if this Peace Pledge does have any success, it won’t be because of me; it will be because of the quiet goodness now residing within each one of you. Without your voice and support, I can and will accomplish nothing.

Technology has made this a very unique time in human history where something like this is just now becoming possible. Until just recently, there has never been such an easily accessible, direct-line of communication that reaches out to over 2 billion people all over the world. Internet and smart phone technology have amazingly created this direct-line of communication, and it now gives this Peace Pledge a clear road to success, if people choose to create it. Attempting something like this would not have been possible even 10 years ago, and I guess we’ll all see if it’s really even possible now, but my attitude is that if I fail, I have lost nothing trying, but if I succeed, who knows what could happen?

Who am I to make this attempt? I am a nobody, really. I am just an average middle-class citizen, just like most of you. I work in construction, actually, and this mobile game and effort to promote peace and unity are just personal hobbies and side ventures for me. I would say that I am a pretty average, ordinary guy in most areas of my life, but even so, I still believe that I can have a positive influence in the world, and so can you if you decide to.

In an effort to satisfy any questions or curiosities any of you might have about exactly “who” I am or what I stand for, I have written this document and outlined in it my intentions and objectives behind making the Peace Pledge, and I have also transcribed for you a good number of my personal thoughts, beliefs and opinions about peace and the principles that make it. These are nothing more than my personal thoughts, beliefs, and opinions, and I do not consider myself to be an authority on creating peace; I just decided that if I was going to throw something like this Peace Pledge out to the world, then I had better be able to back it up and provide some content and material for people to read to understand it along with my goals, beliefs and intentions behind making it. I want people to know who I am, what I believe, and what I stand for, because if they do, I believe they will be much more willing to make the Peace Pledge and unite with me and Nick in our efforts to promote peace and unity.

At times, I admit that I probably state the obvious, but even the obvious doesn’t seem to be so obvious these days, and I feel like a little bit of basic “common-sense talk” is what we all really need to hear sometimes. I really present nothing new or ground-breaking, but if you agree with me and my straight-forward, common-sense thinking, spoken with the straight-forward boldness of a true American, then I would greatly appreciate your pledge and your support. Even when it’s for an honest good cause, it’s never easy (or effective) to stand alone, and any support you can give me in this effort to cultivate peace and unity will be very, very much welcomed and appreciated.

My thoughts and beliefs are not written with any real degree of continuity between the numbered paragraphs, and they are not arranged in any specific order. They are kind of random, but here they are; I hope you enjoy:

The World Peace Pledge was written to encompass, in their purity and simplicity, the American principles of peace and prosperity which have allowed the American people to work together freely, to pursue happiness, and to achieve greatness. It is intended to be a completely universal pledge, inclusive of all humanity, and its appeal is to the most basic logic, common-sense and goodness in all of us. My hope is that it can unite us and unite us all, on an individual basis, in support of the fundamental principles that culturally will lead us all to peace and prosperity.

  1. At this point in time in history, somehow, I just feel like we all need something to expose and resuscitate a little bit of faith in the general “goodness” of humanity, all around the world, and I am hoping that this Peace Pledge can be a means to do just that.
  2. I believe that making the Peace Pledge is a way we can all unite together on common ground. This is stuff that we all want in our lives, and these are concepts and principles that we should ALL be willing to unite behind, especially here in the U.S. I believe that all who make the Pledge will be uniting together in an effort to create the world we “all wish” we were living in.
  3. The Peace Pledge is very, very simple, but no one who wants to help create peace is above living by its principles. I consider the making of the Peace Pledge to be a simple expression of your support of the principles and ideals of the Pledge, and my hope is that if you make that simple expression, you will then demonstrate it to others by the way you live your life. I know it’s very simple, but I do believe that making the Pledge will help people live with just a little bit more respect and personal awareness in regards to how they treat and relate to others.
  4. From my perspective, humanity in general has things pretty good right now; not everywhere, but generally speaking, the quality of life has progressed for most human-beings over the past 100 years or so, and my hope is that the Pledge can be utilized as a peace-promoting tool to help keep it that way. Probable or not, by no means do I ever want to witness the downfall of humanity that takes us all back 100 years in time. It has literally taken us hundreds of years to get where we are with our infrastructure and technology, and although there have been some pretty major set-backs along the way, a true World War III could be absolutely catastrophic. Our systems are actually very fragile, and when we are all starving to death, nobody will still agree that our arguments over a couple of apples were really worth deciding to cut down our only apple tree.
  5. If you are willing to make and to live the Peace Pledge, then by all means you should consider yourself to be an individual solution to the creation of a more peaceful world.  If not, you might be able to consider yourself one of our problems. Solutions are much better than problems, please commit and work to become one of them.
  6. If you are willing to make the Peace Pledge, then you are by all means worthy to be due the respect and honor of the Pledge. If you’re not willing, then unfortunately, you are not necessarily worthy of it, even though we want to give it to you. The reality is, though, that respect, value, liberty, justice and happiness all come at a price. If you want them, you have to pay the price for them, a part of which price is a willingness to help create them and to allow others to have and enjoy them too. Making the Peace Pledge is a way for you to show the world that you are willing to do just that and is literally the act that deems you worthy of the Pledge’s respect and honor.
  7. We live in a day and age and with a media where it is very difficult to discern the facts from the fiction and the political propaganda. With this being the case, we all must individually learn to recognize the true motives and see the true money and power behind all the media we consume. On both sides and from all angles, we must work to discern the truth from the propaganda, and we must place our trust in our principles and not in our emotions. We need to elevate our levels of personal understanding, and we need to question everything. If we can never see or hear the truths beyond the sound bites of the media strategically aimed to stir us up to contention one with another, we will endlessly be at each other’s throats. Liberals, reach out to your conservative friends, and conservatives, do the same. Enjoy some civil discourse together and try to understand each other. Discuss your main political objectives and social concerns with kindness and objectivity. See one another’s perspectives, find common ground, and agree to disagree where necessary. Then, leave as friends who understand one another better and care for one another as fellow human-beings. Let’s not let those who want chaos tear us apart from each other and destroy our civility and respect for one another. Somehow, we all need to learn to live peacefully and respectfully together again, and more often than not, when we get to know each other better, we usually find that we kind of like each other, and sometimes eventually, we even learn to love each other.
  8. We need to renew the fact and notion that individuals, not governments, are the uniquely powerful and sovereign acting units of a civil society and that the contributions to society of each individual citizen are uniquely important. Every individual needs to feel valued and important, because they really are, and we need to recognize the fact that it only takes the misconduct of one individual in a million to potentially disrupt the peace and prosperity of many thousands. With this being the case, a culture or civilization that truly desires to realize peace, must strive to care and lookout for all of its citizens, and it cannot afford to blatantly overlook and intentionally ignore the mental, emotional and physical health and needs of even one individual. Yes, this is very idealistic, but it is also very true.  As individuals, I know we can do a much better job caring for one another. We need to look inward to help those in need before we look outward and to our governments. Many of us have the personal means to help people, we just need to become more willing to actually do it. When people help people, we all benefit from our successes.
  9. When people refer to the concept of “World Peace,” many of us envision an unattainable cliché that is so unreal and idealistic that it has almost become a mockery of itself. We may envision government leaders coming together to sign peace treaties that will keep the world’s armies from destroying one another, and this is all good, but even in a country whose government and military have declared peace with the world, everyday citizens can be tormented daily by crime and violence and live lives completely absent of any real peace. If we are going to really talk about “World Peace,” or a sense of peaceful living that can truly be identified in individual lives and communities all around the world, then we all must first focus on the conduct of the individuals that actually have the greatest power and ability to create peace in our lives- our families, our neighbors, and any of those who live in or enter our immediate surrounding. Creating a world around us of “individuals living in peace and harmony one with another” may be a better goal than “world peace,” and this goal starts with individuals making individual commitments to live by peaceful principles. People can do this anywhere in the world, right now, and when they do, peace will grow in their communities, it will transform their governments, and it will then enable them, or us, as individuals to unite our countries and our governments into a real, true form of world peace. I honestly think that the creation of true world peace has to come from the bottom up, and like I said, it must start with individual citizens making individual commitments to live by peaceful principles. Then, and only then, can we all be proud of formal government peace treaties and government leaders shaking hands on camera. But until that happens, we each have a lot that we can be doing to create more peaceful living standards in our own lives and the lives of those around us. If any one of us wants peace collectively, then individually, we have to be willing to unite behind its principles and live by its standards.
  10. You personally don’t need to “change the world” to create world peace, you just need to live life as a decent and respectful human being, especially if you are a political leader. It’s amazing how a little political power can make people forget who they are and where they came from. But, politically powerful or not, as long as you are doing that, living life as a decent and respectful human being, and you are encouraging others to do the same, then you really are doing all that you need to be doing to create world peace. Individuals and political leaders who forget that fact are our biggest problem and greatest threat to peace. If every individual and political leader in the world somehow became personally responsible for creating peace just for those they came in direct personal contact with or have direct political power over, it would become a peaceful world over night. We all need to decide to be accountable for ourselves and when we do, guess what- others will take care of themselves. When more people start caring about the peace that they can bring into their own lives and the lives of those around them, instead of waiting and relying on governments and others to do it for them, it will truly be a large step towards the creation of lasting world peace.
  11. Everybody who is physically and mentally able needs to be willing to work in some fashion- even if it is difficult and low-paying. Our economies are getting better, there are becoming more jobs available, and that means less excuses for not working. I know difficult times happen, and safety nets are okay, but there is way too many capable people begging in parking lots of stores with hiring signs on their doors, and there is way, way too many capable people perpetually living off the government. Unfortunately, it seems like begging and government freeloading are in some cases becoming preferable to working. Let me make it clear- here in the U.S., to live off the government is to live off your working neighbors, because they are the ones who fund the government. I know that there are people who really do need government assistance, and I have no problem with that, but the government really only has money to give that it takes from those who are working, and perpetual able-bodied beggars and government freeloaders are abusing the American people’s charity and our positive government programs. This is making it harder for all of us to be willing to help and to identify those who really do need the help.  We all need to be willing to work. If we are able to work, we should be working. Here in the U.S., we simply cannot afford to charitably and governmentally sustain an idle and dependent class of mentally capable and able-bodied freeloaders.
  12. If there is one thing in the world that destroys lives and makes people unemployable, it’s drugs. We all need to completely avoid any drugs or addictive substances that destroy mental, physical and social capacities and abilities to work, to be trust worthy, and to live happily. Marijuana and alcohol are not necessarily included on this list for all people, but they too should only be consumed legally, in moderation, and with a great degree of personal responsibility. Not all, but some people can handle the effects of alcohol or marijuana, without having it destroy their lives, but nobody should ever risk it with opioids and the harder drugs; the risk is just too great, and it is absolutely devastating to see good-hearted and once capable people whose drug addictions have destroyed their lives, minds, bodies, and abilities to work and to be trusted. Unfortunately, these drug addicts become a burden upon all of us, and they are creating a monumental problem of homelessness we have yet to find a solution for. Please, I plead with you all, do not destroy your mind, body and ability to work and to be trusted for a short, meaningless, destructive and addictive chemical high, it is simply not worth it.
  13. I choose to focus on the predominantly good elements of our human natures, and I like to believe that generally speaking, the vast majority of people around the world can be defined as “good-hearted.” We’re definitely not perfect, and we all definitely make mistakes at times; it’s part of being human, and it’s why I believe in a Savior, but I believe most of us are generally “good-hearted.”  Now, there are definitely very evil people out there, and there are definitely a few very evil and destructive ideological and cultural elements to our societies, like gangs, drug cartels, sex-trafficking, government corruption, and radicalized terrorism, etc.; I am not going to deny that, and I also completely recognize that we all have personal flaws, weaknesses, and susceptibilities to addictions that many times lead us to careless, reckless, and sometimes even devious and destructive behaviors, but even so, I can still honestly say that I fully believe that the vast majority of people are generally “good-hearted.” We can work with good-hearted. We can make a lot of “world peace” with good-hearted; we just have to expose and unify it into something visible, powerful and influential enough for people to be proud and excited to commit themselves to work and become a part of it.
  14. There are many varying degrees and ways to define “good-hearted” in the world, and we should all aspire to live better daily, but in making my claim that I believe that most people are generally “good-hearted,” I wanted to define “good-hearted” for you as the presence of any of the following: 1) A desire to live peacefully, 2) a common respect for self and others, 3) a belief in equality and basic human rights for all people, 4) a desire to allow others the right to exercise free-will as long as it does not remove the same, injure, harm or endanger others in any way, 5) a desire to protect and value human life in all stages of development, 6) a desire to promote and preserve life, liberty, freedom, justice, and the pursuit of happiness for all people everywhere, 7) any ability to govern oneself peaceably according to dictates of one’s own internally held moral code and personal conscience, and last but not least, 8) any effort or ability to work, contribute to society in a positive manner, and/or pursue happiness in a way that blesses the lives of others. I believe that “good-hearted” people are inherently drawn to these principles and ideals and will find them naturally occurring in their lives if their societies or cultures permit them to.
  15. If as a culture we can rebuild a foundation of decency and common respect for one another, we will once again be able to enjoy the intellectual debate and discussion of ideas and principles that will continue to allow our culture, our country, and our government to run in the right direction. I don’t know about the “Washington elites,” but as far as the general U.S. population is concerned, I feel like both liberals and conservatives and both republicans and democrats basically want a lot of the same things- we just have different ideas on what we think will work, what approach we think is best, and how much money we think should be spent to get us there. It is great to have multiple approaches and ideas on how to best solve the world’s problems, but it requires a certain degree of common-decency and respect for each other. We have to be able to debate, we have to be able to compromise, we have to be able to make some sacrifices at times, like mature adults, and we have to be able to hope for the success of our ideas and leaders, even sometimes when they are not our choice of ideas or leaders. If we allow for the occasional experimental political successes of our political opponents, their policies will most likely succeed or fail based upon their merits. The best practices and policies will usually be able to stand the tests of time and practical application, and the bad ones won’t. In most cases, bad public policy will eventually lead to its own failure and demise. I do want to clarify, though, that in a free-market system, selective government handouts and free-bees are, in most cases, not a good thing for people; more than anything else, they usually just create dependence and idleness, and they generally reduce productivity and incentive to work. I also want to emphasize that we simply cannot afford to sacrifice or jeopardize our futures for the political success and ease of today. In whatever we do, we have to take full responsibility for the long-term effects of our actions and policies.
  16. It’s not cheesy, corny, immature or uneducated to want to be respected, valued, free, safe and happy; on the contrary, these desires make up the very heart and core of our humanity. I’m not ashamed to admit it – I want to be respected and valued as a person. I want to be free to live my life how I want to. I want security and justice. And hell yes, I am wanting and willing to work and to work hard to find a little bit of happiness. The America that allows all of this to happen is the America that I believe hundreds of thousands of good Americans have laid down their lives for. I believe that this is the America that has brought more freedom, happiness and prosperity to the human race than ever before seen or experienced, and I want to spread the philosophies of this America to everybody I can, all around the world, because I know that Americans aren’t the only human beings on this Earth that desire and deserve these things, we all do- they are at the very core of our humanity. There is nothing better than to be living securely in a country founded upon the principles of liberty and justice for all, to be valued and respected as a person, and to be working hard to achieve your very own personal visions and dreams of happiness and success. It’s really what life, humanity and America are all about. I want this stuff for everybody and this is one of the main reasons why I created and am working to promote this Peace Pledge.
  17. I believe in an America that will culturally accept anybody and everybody as long as they accept “this America” in return. What is “this America?” This is the constitutional America of equality, respect, freedom and law. This is the America that values all forms of human life, regardless. This is the America that allows all people to live freely around the perimeters of the justice of the law, and this is the America that expects and requires its capable citizens to work, and to work hard to earn the rewards of prosperity and personal happiness. Unfortunately for all of us, this America does not allow for anybody and everybody to enter its borders without restriction or restraint- doing so would collapse and destroy this America because its systems require law and order to maintain their function. This America is a melting pot of people from all over the world, but even so, this American fully expects and requires a good degree of assimilation from all of its immigrants who want and expect to make their homes here. As Americans, we want and need to maintain a strong sense of united patriotism, but this does not mean that we don’t want to welcome outsiders, as long as they come here safely, legally and with the desire to become one of us. With hope, though, leaders all over the world can and need to work to bring these very same American formulas of success to their own countries and their own governments wherever they may be. If you are a political leader willing to stand up for American principles and ideals outside of America, you are probably needed most right where you are. Have courage! You can change the world by changing your own country and community for the better first, and by so doing, you will have made this world a much better place for yourself and for many others, who I guarantee will greatly appreciate your efforts.
  18. This is really this simple to me: Do you want to be respected and valued as a person? Do you want freedom, liberty, justice and happiness to be concepts that apply to your daily human existence? Are you willing to get up and get out of bed every morning and work to the best of your abilities to make your life and the lives of those around you as pleasant and as happy as possible? Do you want any of these things for any of your family and friends? If you can answer yes to even one of these questions, then make the Peace Pledge and share it. Raise your voice and break your silence. By so doing, you will be uniting with the better parts of humanity, all across the globe, and you will help the world see that we’re really not all that different.
  19. Like I mentioned in my introduction, this literally is a social experiment to me, and I am working to prove three of my most general and basic beliefs about humanity. I hope I am right, but I honestly don’t know yet if I am. I believe the success or failure of the Pledge will prove or dis-prove my following three beliefs about humanity:
    1. Generally speaking, I believe that overwhelmingly the heart of humanity is good, and that the vast majority of all people want to live in peace and will at least try to do what they believe is right in most cases. If they want peace, I believe that most people will be able to see that making this Peace Pledge is the right thing to do. If that is true, people should be willing to make the Pledge, share it with others, and voice their support of its principles.
    2. I believe that most people want to be respected and valued, they want freedom, justice, liberty and happiness in their lives, and they are willing to work for it. If this is true, people should be willing to stand up in support of these things, make the Pledge, and unite behind the spreading and promotion of its principles.
    3. I believe that most people are intelligent enough to recognize the fact that if they want something good in their lives, 1) they must be willing to help create it and voice their support of it, and 2) they must be willing to allow others to have it too.  If a person living without freedom wants freedom, he/she must do what they can to promote and create it, and if a person wants to practice his/her religion freely, he/she must allow all others the same privilege; it’s really that simple. I have to believe that almost all people are intelligent enough to understand these concepts. If they are, they should, also, once again, be willing to make and support this Peace Pledge and do what they can to promote respect, value, liberty, justice and happiness in their lives.
  20. There are 3 main objectives that I am working to accomplish if the Pledge does start to take root and create some degree of success around the world. These are my three main objectives of success:
    1. If the Pledge is successful, I want to use its success to help win the war against all political and ideological propaganda out there promoting conflict, chaos and division. Right now, I believe that there are well over billion good people all over the world who already basically live and uphold the principles of the Pledge every day, and for these good people, to me, this Pledge is a lot more about creating a new united voice promoting peace and exposing people’s goodness than it ever was or will be about changing people’s behaviors. I know the goodness is out there, but currently there really isn’t a method or means that has been able to effectively expose and unify it into something powerful enough to make any real difference. If it can be exposed and unified into something visible, I believe that people’s natural and inherent goodness can be effectively used as a powerful media messaging tool that can speak forcefully in support of the world’s peace-makers. This is my goal. I want to expose and unify all of the common, general, “good-hearted” people in the world, and by so doing, I want to create a peaceful movement with the visibility and power to overcome the political and ideological propaganda out there working to tear us apart from one another. In some ways, you could say that I am basically trying to create a grass-roots, social-media network-marketing campaign to dis-credit the “haters” of the world and to over-shadow their false ideologies, destructive political agendas and hateful propaganda with truth, love and general “good-heartedness.” Sorry haters, but I believe something like this might really work. We are going to track and advertise the number of Pledges made from each country or region; then we are going to advertise our success in an effort to build greater unity where we are currently still struggling with it. If it is able to create success, I believe the Pledge will show people from all around the world that we’re really not all that different, and it will destroy the power and effectiveness of all the destructive ideological and political propaganda out there working to divide and harm us. If there is a positive, peaceful group or organization of individuals that people can easily unite themselves with, it will provide people with a good alternative to the radicals they are sometimes turning to now, and visually over time, when this peaceful message and movement becomes even more wide-spread, the right choice will become easier and easier for people to make. I believe that if we are smart about it, some wars can be won before they are fought if we have the right social messaging and strategic ideological dis-crediting in place, and when the loudest, clearest and most appealing voice in the world is the one pleading for unity and peace, we all will have won the war against the destructive political agendas and the false ideological propaganda of the world’s haters. We have to be willing to think about fighting hate and bad propaganda with love and a good-hearted media messaging campaign before we automatically resort to the dropping of bombs and the destruction of war.
    2. If the Pledge is successful, I want to use its success to create a tangible sense of unity and belonging for the good-hearted common-class individuals of the world, who up to this point, haven’t really had a strong united voice and could appropriately be referred to as the “good and decent, but silent majority.” If you are just a good-hearted average person like me, who really just wants to work and live your life in peace, then this is your chance to unite with millions of others just like yourself and speak with the power of one unified voice that has never been heard from ever before. I’ve said it a hundred times, but I know the goodness and decency is out there, and this is my effort to find it, to define it, and to unite it into something visible that will give each person who makes the Pledge a sense unity and belonging. If you make the Peace Pledge and eventually start to feel like you belong to a great group of people who are uniting together and standing in support of a great cause that is making our world a better and more peaceful place for all to live, then the Pledge will have achieved the second objective of success I am hoping for.
    3. If the Pledge is successful, I simply want it to have a generally positive impact and influence on the basic interactive living standards of people’s lives.  I want it to inspire people to have a little bit more common-decency and respect for one another.  I want it to help people find a little bit more natural intrinsic value in themselves and in all those who they interact with.  I want it to inspire people to seek just a little bit more freedom and justice for everybody in whatever part of the world in which they live, and finally, I want it to inspire people to work just a little bit harder to achieve their goals, live their dreams, and pursue their personal visions of success and happiness.  If you eventually start to feel like your life is just a little more positive and that the people who have made the Pledge treat you just a little bit better in any way because of making it, then the Pledge will have achieved my final objective of success.
  21. And finally, my final thought: In a democratic election process, each citizen obviously only gets one vote, and when it can take over 50 million votes to win an election, many voters think, “Why bother?  My one vote won’t make a difference in the outcome. Why waste my time?” The funny thing is, is that every individual vote really does matter and make the outcome of an election, because the accumulation of individual votes is the only possible way to win. There is no other way. Democratic elections are simply won one vote at a time. It is the same process for everyone, and if every citizen had the attitude that their one vote wasn’t meaningful enough to be worth casting, it would literally destroy the very democratic election process of the free world. We can’t depend on others to cast our vote for us, and the candidate who is able to more successfully get their constituents out to the ballot box wins the election every time. As individual citizens, I admit that it really does seem sometimes like we are literally almost powerless to make any real difference in the world, and one man proclaiming peace on a street corner will most likely just get passed by, ignored and go unnoticed, but as weak and as powerless as we all might think we are as everyday common-class individuals, we do have one choice in life that literally has the ability to give each one of us all the power in the world. The absolute most powerful choice anyone of us can make, is simply, the choice to unite. When we choose to unite with each other and then each cast our single vote in support of something good that we all want and believe in, we all individually become as powerful and as influential as the whole united group of 50 or even a 100 million. When we choose to raise our voice and cast our vote to unite with each other, we are literally choosing to become much, much, much more powerful and much more influential than we ever could become by ourselves. When we choose to unite together in support of a good cause, we are literally choosing to have our voices heard by others, and the more people we are able to get to unite with us, the greater our power and influence will be in the world.