This post was written by Rebecca Luxton and originally appeared on RYOT.
It’s a bummer, but it seems like practically every country is at war — in some way or another.
Basically, the ranking takes into account everything from foreign involvement to unrest on the home turf. So countries like the United States, which come to their allies’ aid across international borders, don’t rank that high.
In fact, the U.S., at 101, isn’t even among the world’s 100 most peaceful countries.
The 11 countries with the lowest rates of conflict were Switzerland, Japan, Qatar, Mauritius, Uruguay, Chile, Botswana, Costa Rica, Vietnam, Panama and Brazil. They were typically detached from wars in other countries and free of internal conflict.
But even those countries aren’t home free — the data from the 2014 report only goes up to the end of 2013, so events like the protests that darkened World Cup festivities in Brazil could dramatically change next year’s ranking.
And all over the world, tensions are high, from the broiling unrest in Ukraine to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri over an unarmed teen’s death at a police officer’s hands.
Truth be told, world peace might be at an all-time low, but could this be the wake-up call we’re in need of?
After all, when things are going well, it’s not human nature to be motivated to change our behavior. Though warfare is never a positive, maybe it’s time for us to see the “peace crisis” in a constructive light.
Protests need to be constructive in order to make a change, instead of just adding to the conflict. And while sometimes, aiding others through strong-arm methods — like the airstrikes in Iraq to help Iraqi civilians escape ISIS militants’ grasps — may seem to be the best option, it’s essential that leaders always act in a way they’re willing to take responsibility for.
Peace is not just over the horizon. But it’s not unattainable, either. Can we step up to the challenge?