I’m writing this in the hope that it will come to the attention of Melinda Gates, who is uniquely situated to lead a movement led by women across the globe that is the best hope of mankind to secure a global peace.
Why Melinda Gates? Any great social change movement needs a leader at its center who can convey the vision of the goal to be achieved to others and make the movement a reality; a Mohandas Gandhi, Alice Paul, Martin Luther King, Jr., Nelson Mandela, Malala Yousafzai, Greta Thunberg. Having just finished reading her book The Moment of Lift, it’s clear to me that Melinda Gates is uniquely qualified to be that catalyzing woman.
The world is in the clutches of a global pandemic. Life has changed forever. Perhaps it can change again for the much better. I believe it can. I’m an evolutionary biologist and behaviorist and I’ve spent a lifetime studying the behavior of men and women. For close to 20 years I’ve studied and written about the relationship of men and women to war as the answer to the possibility of ending war. [My essays and books on the subject are available on two websites - www.afww.org and www.judithhand.net.] In short, I’ve concluded that there is no biological reason why we couldn’t end war, and that the empowerment and leadership of women in equal partnership with men will be pivotal to making that wish a reality, should we decide to pursue the goal.
If we have the ability to end the tragedy of war if we choose, the question becomes how. Over the last few months a number of thoughts and ideas have been at the center of my attention, all of which relate to questions of war and peace. I will list some of those thoughts here and describe them as succinctly as possible.
#WFGP. This acronym stands for “Women For Global Peace.” I’m also a novelist and I’m in the midst of writing a novel. As fate or coincidence would have it, it’s about a post-catastrophic pandemic future in 2045 in which women are working to secure a global peace treaty. They have named their movement Women For Global Peace, and the energizing center of WFGP is the female Secretary General of the United Nations. What our real world needs, what the children of the future need, is a champion such as Melinda Gates who can garner the recognition and resources needed to make the goal of securing a world peace not just a dream but a reality.
At this time in America in response to the pandemic, we have been ordered to stay at home. Only people deemed to perform essential activities are to be out and about. All nonessential activities are to cease until the pandemic is under control or ended. A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the provocative phrase: War Is A Nonessential Activity. Yes, indeed! I thought. War is a nonessential activity.
Lord knows we don’t need it. In fact, we’re going to need the resources we put into war to rebuild the global economy after this pandemic is ended and to fight the even more dire onrushing tragedies of global warming. I had earlier read a Facebook post about Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreeing to a cease-fire in their particular nasty little war because they had more important concerns on their mind. Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, if they just never restarted that war but found a way to peacefully resolve their conflicts so they could direct their resources elsewhere. I also know there are enough empowered and wealthy and resourceful women around the world to energize millions upon millions of people to support the making of an enforceable global peace treaty. If only there was a leadership capable of mobilizing a global movement to do so! In fashioning our “new normal“ after the pandemic, why not include a powerful movement to establish global peace for the children of the future. Why not take this bitter lemon and make a magnificent lemon meringue pie.
Which brings me again to Melinda Gates. Mrs. Gates, I invite you to explore my work, especially as it relates to women and war. Perhaps the best place to start would be the small book on my personal website, War and Sex and Human Destiny. After reading it you could meditate on it and perhaps pray on the idea and consult with your close friends as you describe in The Moment of Lift. And of course, I’ve been thinking for many years about how such a movement would look and could work. I’ve proposed in several places an aspirational action plan for doing so. I would be profoundly happy to speak with you about any of this. And allow me to express my gratitude to you and to your husband for all the wonderful work you and he and the Gates Foundation are doing around the world. Be Well. And with profound respect, Judith Hand
Here are traits that qualify Melinda Gates, that in fact make her uniquely qualified, to inspire and if she chooses, to lead:
Above all, her book The Moment of Lift reveals her to be a caring and compassionate human being with the wisdom to see that making war is a nonessential activity, and that ending war would be one of the greatest positive turning points in all of human history. Something worth the dedication of her time, creativity, and resources.
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Dr. Judith Hand writes historical fiction, contemporary action/adventure, and screenplays. Hand earned her Ph.D. in biology from UCLA. Her studies included animal behavior and primatology. After completing a Smithsonian Post-doctoral Fellowship at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., she returned to UCLA as a research associate and lecturer. Her undergraduate major was in cultural anthropology. She worked as a technician in neurophysiology laboratories at UCLA and the Max Planck Institute, in Munich, Germany. As a student of animal communication, she has written scientific papers on the subject of social conflict resolution.
Astronomy image credit: NASA: Full Hemisphere Views of Earth at Night.