War and Peace
There will be wars and rumours of war but do not be alarmed... Matthew 24:6
Social work has a response and responsibility towards conflict and war as these impact directly on human wellbeing. One of the greatest dis-welfare is armed conflict and violence perpetrated on civilians and citizens.
Recent events in Israel and Gaza has claimed thousands of innocent lives and caused great upheavals to millions and social workers cannot be the silent by-standers. We know that violence begets violence and the propensity for escalation of conflict means many more lives will be lost. Social work espouses the key values of non-violence on the one hand and social justice, on the other.
The root of most violence is oppression and injustice. Human beings are bent towards selfishness and the inclination for the protection of self interest can be a strength or a survival skill rather than a weakness. Social workers must engage in dialogue and communication. The building on interest-based negotiation would empower parties to participate in the conflict resolution process. In mediation, social workers must be mindful of the power differentials and construct platforms that facilitate meaningful conversations and actions.
Social work must vigorously act towards social development and enhance social wellbeing. Social justice and social development are two-sides of the same coin. Social workers both structure and support active participation of the people and the community for economic and social development, decreasing marinization and ghettos, with enhancing social integration as the primary goal.
Should one not have the right to self defense and fight back, you may ask? Yes, you have every right to protect yourself but if you want to exact "an eye for an eye", then remember there will be many more blind people. Jesus says, "Turn the other cheek," and ... "bless them that curse you."
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..." Matthew 5: 44
So what is your response?
Let there be peace on earth and let peace begins with me!