Nonkilling and Peace not only in our times but also for our future generations is going to be one of the defining paradigms of the anthropocene age. It was indeed the wizard in Glenn Durland Paige, a political scientist and humanist extraordinaire, much ahead of his times who understood this better than anyone else in our times. He raised the level of human consciousness to evolve the very idea based on a strong scientific thesis to reinforce and redefine the core purpose of nonkilling, going beyond the traditional precept of nonviolence as the best means for universal peace.
I had the privilege to speak to Professor Paige just a week back to follow up on our earlier interactions, when prophetically enough; he spoke of his own end and the future of the nonkilling movement and the Centre of Global Nonkilling. I could perceive his own vision of the looming shadow of his own struggle and the end in sight but more importantly what struck me most was his conviction, the dream and the desire for me and the nonkilling fraternity to strive and reach beyond for a ‘nonkilling world’. The intensity and the enlightened approach of a visionary genius and his wit and wisdom even in death was awe inspiring. It is this appeal from his last few words to me that brings me to the profound nature of his own contribution that I will briefly dwell upon.
Well the apparent question to our mind that remained post Second World War was whether nonkilling societies and a killing-free world possible? The prevailing pessimism left an emphatic answer, “No!” It was presumed that Killing is inevitable because of human nature, competition, scarce resources, and other factors. However, in 2002 that was to change with a resounding “Yes” as asserted in the Nonkilling Global Political Science a monumental work and fact finding by Professor Paige that promised to revolutionise our pessimist world view on two principal grounds. Firstly, Nonkilling predominates over killing in human nature and secondly most humans have not killed and do not kill contrary to the perpetuated myth. Furthermore, nonkilling knowledge and practice already exist in global human experience that if creatively combined and advanced in any society promise progress toward making nonkilling societies universally possible for a peaceful world, which can focus on the Sustainable Development Goals enshrined by the United Nations. Responses to the nonkilling thesis have been remarkable; the book is being translated into 41 languages accessible to over 4 billion speakers. Over 600 scholars in 300 academic institutions in 73 countries have joined in 19 disciplinary research committees that are contributing to a scientific paradigm shift from acceptance of killing to discover and apply nonkilling knowledge as a common heritage for all mankind.
Glenn Durland Paige was born on June 28, 1929 in Brockton, Massachusetts, in the north eastern part of the United States known as New England. He grew up in Rochester, New Hampshire, with summers in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He served in the U.S. Army (1948-52). He was a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy (1947), Princeton University (A.B., politics, 1955), Harvard University (A.M., East Asian regional studies, 1957) and Northwestern University (Ph.D. political science, 1959). After teaching at Seoul National University (1959-61), and Princeton University (1961-67), he taught at the University of Hawai‘i (1967-92). He lived in Honolulu since 1967 and travelled widely as the Founder and past Chair of the Centre for Global Nonkilling. His own experiential times as a Korean War veteran indeed moulded his thinking and work in his celebrated books on Nonkilling Global Political Science (2002), and The Scientific Study of Political Leadership (1977).
Professor Paige will be remembered for this unique vision, mission and enterprise to promote change toward the measurable goal of a killing-free world in reverence to life that aims for infinite creativity and discovery to advance the spiritual, scientific, skills and arts capabilities of humankind, for nonkilling change for tomorrow’s global society.
To a humanist and a pioneer who evoked interdisciplinary creativity to empower humanity with confidence that killing-free societies are possible, I pen today a few lines in tears and in memoriam as we bid him good bye:
‘In times of mindless terror, killings and fight,
Let us rebuild the bonds, and bridges that are right,
With Gandhi, King, Mandela and Paige in sight,
In infinite creativity, and reverence to life so bright,
Let each of us be a centre of nonkilling, and a knight,
Sure enough billion’s of us can advance, live and light,
Forever in our goal of nonkilling, peace to delight,
Eternal be Glenn’s vision and mission, a triumph of god’s might.’
I end my obituary to a great soul in gratitude and in eternal reverence to life in Glenn’s own words:
“No More killing!”
“Nonkilling Culture in infinite reverence to human ingenuity crosses All Lines”
“Everyone can be A Center for Global Nonkilling and usher in the next stage of Human Evolution”
At the Center for Global Nonkilling, we would appreciate any brief comments on Glenn’s legacy, including his influence on you personally, for posting and accumulating in an archive on the GCNK website. Please post such comments below.