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A Little Perspective on World Peace – U.S. Ranks 83rd on Global Peace Index

August 14, 2009

“Aren’t you afraid for you safety?”

This is the question I was most often asked by people when they heard I was moving to Egypt. Terrorists, anti-American sentiment, those infidel-hating Muslims – wasn’t I going to get kidnapped, my head cut off after appearing on YouTube in a garish orange jumpsuit pleading for the West to change its ways? “No” was my answer before I left, and “Hell No” is my answer after living there. “I’m more concerned for my safety in this country than any other country I have ever visited,” was my more elaborate response to that question. And now, when people don’t believe that, they can look at the Global Peace Index and see for themselves just how peaceful a place like America truly is.

The Global Peace Index is compiled by Vision of Humanity. According to their website, Vision of Humanity “groups together a number of interrelated initiatives focused on global peace.  It brings a strategic approach to raising the world’s attention and awareness around the importance of peacefulness to humanity’s survival in the 21st century.” In putting together the Global Peace Index, they use 23 indicators to determine a nation’s relative state of peace.

Some countries that rank ahead of the U.S. in terms of the Global Peace Index – Qatar, Indonesia, Bahrain, Libya, Egypt, and China. New Zealand is first on the list (from my experience, Kiwis are very nice people) . Iraq?  Last. (I was going to write dead last but thought that might be in poor form).

Not until you leave America do you really realize just how violent a place this country is. We have become numb to the senseless murders, rapes, and assaults that are part of our daily news. When I left Egypt to return to America, I actually didn’t start having any concern for my physical safety or personal belongings until I got back to the States. In Egypt, one act of violence is national news. Here, it is barely even front page material anymore. Blood Leads – that seems to be the motto of the news agencies. And we have a lot of blood to lead with, so much in fact that the market has become saturated and its almost no news anymore.

I’ll leave you with this:

I read an article in a magazine a couple of years ago about a foreign soccer player whose wife was afraid to move to the U.S. because of all the violence she saw in the newspapers. This player had signed to play for the Colorado Rapids of the MLS and said that his wife, after reading the American papers and watching U.S. news on satellite was convinced that people were getting murdered, kidnapped, and raped all the time because that is what the news was showing her. He did not know at the time of the article whether his wife was going to move with him and might stay behind at their home…In Johannesburg, South Africa. They were South African and it was much safer there, she said.

Perspective and truth. Biggies in this game.

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