Let’s be honest: international relations seem to be reserved for diplomats and experts. It probably makes you think of striped pants, perhaps uniforms, most likely tedious people getting together at cocktail parties and pontificating. And yet my son still remembers fondly our receptions at home. As a child, he was the only one able to mingle and reach out to the people behind the professional masks in the room.
For all the expertise in the world, how many professionals will it take to bring people of different cultures and backgrounds together? We, the experts and the diplomats, have failed miserably to develop a common language towards harmonious relations within humanity. Who can afford to take a position of arrogance, standing apart from the other and suggest that what is known by one can never be understood by the other, let alone that one represents a superior model of thinking? It is incumbent upon all of us, human beings, to live, think, and speak in such a way as to build bridges of understanding between communities. Each of us has a responsibility to come to positions of credible compassion, to a common humility focused on uniting societies towards developing humanity to its full potential.
Healing international relations is in everyone’s power, and in fact the duty of each and every one of us. International relations is everyone’s responsibility in a world interconnected and increasingly in the hands of non-experts, you and me, to actually make a difference.