Peace from an Engineer’s perspective

It shakes me to learn every day when I read the news about how the world is suffering from man-made problems. From bombings in Syria to nuclear threats by developed countries to terrorism and violent attacks and the list goes on. Being an engineer I learned that the only way to solve a complex problem is to break down the problem into a simpler form that can be easily solved. So the solution to all the complex world problems is breaking it down to solving my own problems first.

The fundamental way to approach a problem is to not look at it as a problem rather an opportunity to challenge me. It is like perceiving “climbing a mountain” as a problem that needs to be solved vs perceiving it as an opportunity to build my strength while enjoying the experience and magnificent views during every step of the ascent. When you take a positive perspective, the problem disappears and you start enjoying the process instead.

So to start with, I started acknowledging all the areas in my life that are making me live less than stellar life. Unfortunately, it takes me a book to explain how I overcame all the negative talk in my head. So in this blog post, I will take a stab at explaining how I addressed a specific conflict with my wife and how a similar approach can be taken to address border issues currently happening between different countries.

I always complain about how my wife does so little household work. What I later understood is that she does the best she can but after she reaches my expectation, in my mind I give her brand new milestones to reach. After a while, they become outdated as well and the process of setting new internal milestones repeat. I was being greedy. So no matter how much my wife did for me, it was never enough. If my happiness is based on how much my wife did for me, I will soon become a victim of my expectations. So the way I addressed is to give unconditionally instead. If I would like to have her contribution, I would express it as a wish and how I feel about my wish but take complete ownership of my own needs. Very quickly things took a U-turn in how I perceived life. The lesson I learned is that greed is part of being human. Once you can notice how it is making you a slave of yourself, you can rise above it to create a life of freedom.

If we extrapolate this solution to solving world problems, border issues like Jammu and Kashmir or Taiwan or Ghaza can be solved not by making arguments on why each country owns a certain piece of land and bombing each other. Countries can never have enough of what they want. Instead, if countries give selflessly by opening the borders to promote understanding, it can make a difference. As an example, India can open its borders to Pakistanis and help them understand how we feel about our insecurities around Jammu and Kashmir instead of trying to further provoke them. The bottom line is we are all the same in spite of our different belief systems. What I think we should really do to solve the problem is to declare Jammu and Kashmir as a self-governing state and designate it as a friendship zone for Indians and Pakistanis. In this friendship zone, radical Indian Hindus and radical Indian Muslims party with each other and do fun things like dancing, singing and dining together.

So here is my solution to the world’s problems. Start with identifying areas of your life which are making you live less than stellar life. Are you being in the victims of your own greed? When everyone in the world can live a life of unconditional giving, there remains no problem to be solved in this world but only life to be lived.