General Question

weeveeship's avatar

Why can't we all just get along?

Asked by weeveeship (4665points) September 26th, 2010

It seems like in any era, we have people looking for peace but cannot find it. We have many different organizations all claiming to work for peace. Problem is, why is there still no peace?

And I am not even talking about world peace. I mean why can’t we all just get along? Why is there fighting and hating?

By the way, I am not a hopeless Pollyanna. I have accepted the cold truth long ago. I just want to start a good discussion on this matter.

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41 Answers

Mista_Reflexivity's avatar

Because not everybody is at peace with themselves.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Some people don’t know how to control their feeling and deal with their problems so take it out on others.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I really think it has something to do with fear. We all have a vested interest in our beliefs, and when those beliefs are questioned, we react out of fear displaying anger.

I find that by detaching from my vested interests and really looking at other people, I can find inner peace and be at peace with others around me.

Jeruba's avatar

As long as people blame others for their problems and covet what others have, there’ll be no peace.

If we are irritated by our next-door neighbors, other drivers on the road, and the folks ahead of us in the grocery checkout line or behind us in the theater, what makes us think whole nations can dwell peaceably side by side? If we judge our own brothers and sisters, parents and children—people who are just like us in race, blood line, culture, upbringing, and maybe even religious belief and values—how do we put an end to judging those who are different?

marinelife's avatar

There are not that many international efforts to promote peace.

Peace is not taught in our schools.

Non-violent conflict resolution is not taught.

Peace needs to begin at the level of children.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, where it all begins.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

In addition to what has already been mentioned:
– Upbringing and closed-mindedness (think bigotry).
– Pride
– Lack of empathy, or in the worst case scenario, Antisocial personality disorders

Jeruba’s comment about coveting reminded me of a song from the 60’s that left an impression. I was going to include a link to the original version, but ran across another that made me tear up. Here it is.

flutherother's avatar

It is surprising how much peace there is. I have lived in a big city for forty years and I have never seen any real trouble. People cram on the buses in the morning, people queue up for a coffee, they bump into each other. It is surprising how tolerant we are with one another. But I take your point. If it is not a neighbour but someone over our mental horizon we will stick a label on him and be happy to treat him as non human. Odd.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I’m a glass-half-empty person, but I did run across something this morning that reminded me of the Gandhi quote about throughout time, good always wins. Kabul Dreams

Marva's avatar

As long as people blame others for their problems, want to be right, and their ego wants to win, there is no chance for peace.
An Israeli

Linda_Owl's avatar

I think the biggest factor is ‘fear’. Too many humans tend to fear the different, the unknown, the ‘not us’. In the past this was a survival behavior, because you had no way of knowing if strangers might mean harm, or if the presence of strangers might mean a lessened ability to take care of your family. However, now we have access to mass media & we are protected by various laws, so we should be much better able to appreciate “others” & realize that adding their in-put into our lives, everyone could well be enriched.

BoBo1946's avatar

Because people refuse to worship God. they like to make their own rules to fit their lifestyle! Deep in the heart of all people, they know their is a God, but they refuse to accept Him.

tranquilsea's avatar

On a global level: there is no money in peace.

On a societal level…I live in a city that is very peaceful.

Most the anger and angst I see is due to ignorance about other people. An “us vs. them” thinking when it is really only “us”.

Linda_Owl's avatar

To BoBo1946 – the lack of peace has NOTHING to do with not worshiping ‘god’. The concept of a ‘god’ is a man-made creation. The christian ‘god’ myth is just that, a MYTH. It is no different from any of the other ‘god’ myths that have risen & fallen throughout recorded time. For a supposed ‘to be’ all-powerful, all-knowing, totally loving, supreme being, to allow innocent children to starve to death, & to be murdered – this is stupidity squared. If such a ‘god’ existed & he allowed these things to happen (& the bible says that nothing happens unless ‘god’ allows it to happen) then this ‘god’ is definitely not a loving ‘god’ & why should we worship such a being? If he knows that these things happen & this ‘god’ cannot prevent these things from happening – then how would one call him a ‘god’? Religion is simply a mechanism by which the few (the people who run the churches/religions) control the rest of humanity. And have you ever noticed that this ‘god’ ALWAYS needs MONEY? Why would a supreme being need money, especially from those of us who are barely surviving??

BarnacleBill's avatar

@BoBo1946, what you’re really saying is that anyone who disagrees with American Christianity is “wrong”? Exactly what version of American Christianity is the “right” version? Because the one that blatantly refuses to recognize that all men are created in the image of God and only God has the right to judge, sure as heck isn’t exactly following the teachings of Christ.

Arp's avatar

Because we have different skin colors and magical sky fairies. As long as humans are around, people will find things to fight about…

Sniper: “As long as there are two people left on the planet, someone’s gonna want someone dead.”


Vincent_Lloyd's avatar

Because we all have things we dislike about each other, or maybe something that, that person did. People are hard to get along with, as long as we’re here, there basically is no peace….And if there was, it wouldn’t be eternal, or stay forever….. It just won’t work and I know that for a fact.

YARNLADY's avatar

If everybody would do as I say, there would be no issue at all, but some people just want to follow their own path.

BoBo1946's avatar

@BarnacleBill no, just saying that because man will not recongize God, there will never be world peace. Not sure how you came up with that.

Gamrz360's avatar

Don’t you wish we could, but I think we will never succeed in it.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Linda_Owl well… thank you for calling me stupid. I needed that. You made my day.

Well, God doesn’t need money, the churches need money to carry on His ministry. And, as we all know, there are some churches and some people that abuse that, but it doesn’t make Chrisitianity bad. Just means there are some people who abuse a good thing.

Back to the question and getting away from you calling me stupid. If everyone adheres to God’s word, there would be World Peace. There something real strong about, “love thy neighbor as thyself!”

Again, thank you so much for calling me stupid. I will be honored to serve God and stay stupid.

liminal's avatar

“Why can’t we all just get along?”

Some wounds are very deep. Radical suffering stirs people in radical ways.

Sometimes, people have an amazing and peaceful response to suffering that shows the profound strength and beauty of humanity. For example, who doesn’t stand dumbfounded by the imperfect Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa?

Sometimes, humans have a hard time moving beyond the injustice and pain caused them and react in radically harmful ways that perpetuate the cycles of damage in our world. Sadly, sometimes the harmed become the harmers and we get lost in cycles of revenge.

Humanity needs to stop causing harm to itself and the planet if we want peace.

plethora's avatar

@YARNLADY You are exactly right. And I, for one, would be glad to do just as you say. With a few modifications of course…nothing important though…:)

Kardamom's avatar

Because with what one person or group believes to be fundamentally correct or right or helpful, there is always another person or group that believes that the exact same thing (whether it’s an action, a belief or a concept) is incorrect, wrong and and harmful. Part of it stems from one’s perspective, and part of it comes from one’s experiences. And there’s always a contingent in one’s own group of people (that truly believe the same way) that are just plain lazy or greedy. Plus there are so many questions about right and wrong that simply cannot (at this time) be adequately answered by humans. So we guess and we hope and we do experiements and we continually search for what is right and wrong, but we all come up with different answers, many of which are at great odds with each other.

weeveeship's avatar

It’s one thing for me to disagree with someone. For instance, I do not believe in Scientology. That’s my choice. It is a different matter if I go out and taunt or attack Scientologists or write them hateful messages.

Jabe73's avatar

Too many people (after all these years) still do not seem to realize that respect must be earned, not demanded. What could be the blame for this now? Power hungry, greed and selfishness are some good examples why.

ultraviolet's avatar

because human beings are emotional not rational. I find meditation helps me embrace peace- peace; being present in the moment… or just getting close to nature

augustlan's avatar

@BoBo1946 I don’t think @Linda_Owl was calling you stupid, but calling a god who allows (or wills) terrible things to happen stupid.

@Jabe73 Actually, I think the idea that respect must be earned could be part of the problem. If we all respected one another in the first place, we’d be approaching the ‘other’ from a place of good will rather than distrust. I tend to operate on the idea that respect isn’t earned, it’s a given. Though it can certainly be lost.

BoBo1946's avatar

@augustlan you would be correct and thank you for pointing that out. I just misread it.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Linda_Owl sorry, I misread your answer. Lurves to you.

My response to your answer is there is much that I don’t understand and many scholarly theologians don’t understand about the Bible and God’s plan. I just try to concentrate on the good that has been done in the name of religion. Like everything, there are bad preachers, bad churches, etc., but overall, a lot of good is done.

And, I’m certainly understand your comments about children. I just accept it by Faith. I don’t try to intellectualize it as that cannot be done.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

Oh my gosh the most amazing thing happened in class. Everyone, I mean EVERYONE worked together in peace. No one complained we all just worked together towards the one main goal.

weeveeship's avatar

@daytonamisticrip What a feat!

See, we can have periods of peace. However, it seems like things usually fall apart at some time and people just go back to fighting and hating again.

It’s just sad…

Jabe73's avatar

@augustlan Um that came out wrong. What I really meant was that there are many arrogant people out there who expect everyone to respect them without earning it because they have this attitude that they are better or more important than other people or at least people who they are not friends with (kind of like some bosses I had). They think they can treat certain people like crap but still expect those same people to respect them. I agree with the core point of your statement.

augustlan's avatar

@Jabe73 Ah, I understand now. :)

weeveeship's avatar

What I don’t get is how come, after all these millennia, people still could not figure out how to get along with one another. People don’t even necessarily have to love others (though that would be nice), but at least they shouldn’t hurt others.

Nially_Bob's avatar

It’s far easier to attain power (wealth, social status, mates etc) by only using others for your own means and when it suits; it’s in our nature as animals to realise this and it can lead very naturally to hurting others. Alongside this is a variety of other issues that have been outlined well in previous posts. War and peace are undoubtedly complex notions.
As an additional thought it should be considered that without pain, suffering and war the concept of peace would not exist.

weeveeship's avatar

Just read this This is really sad. Just because some terrorists are Muslims doesn’t make all Muslims terrorists.

I once know this guy who called this one guy at school who wore a turban for religious reasons a terrorist and harassed him. Something like this was so senseless and cruel. The bully wasn’t even after the victim’s money or possessions (which would be wrong by itself), but he bullied the guy with the turban “just because he felt like it.”

weeveeship's avatar

Thoughts on why a bully would hurt someone else for no reason other than “the bully felt like it”?

Joybird's avatar

Non violent resolution makes me laugh. I was bullied from 7th grade until the end of my Junior year in high school. No amount of non violent resolution spoon fed to me from just about every adult around me worked to deter my bullies. What did? One day I got fed up with the guys holding a hallway gauntlet and groping me as I passed…I turned and grabbed one guy by the cahones and took him to the ground putting my ass on his chest as I held onto his balls with all my might just about ripping them from his body….the fellows attempting to haul me off him resulted in hauling me off him with me dragging him down the hall by his balls. Of course I was suspended but they never touched me again. The week I came back from suspension another of my tormenters once again cornered me in the gym locker room…she tripped me and pushed me as I went by….I back handed her with all my might breaking her jaw and then across the next five minutes of fighting broke half of her ribs and blackened both her eyes. I got suspended for a second week but guess what…they bullying ended completely because now everyone was afraid of me. No one dared taunt me or touch me ever again. So much for your “non-violent” solutions. Violence DOES have a place…a necessary place.
And here’s the kicker….I’ve never used violence since. But I can and I would. Since that time I’ve taken martial arts, self defense, hand to hand combat, survival training and if you dare touch me…old lady or not….I’m gonna make you wish you hadn’t.

josie's avatar

Why should we?

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