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On A Positive Note

On A  Positive Note

TW:  The Secret Peace is finally here! What inspired you to write such a book, Jesse? Tell us more about your research and message. 

JR: "Over the past decade, I increasingly began to sense trends that were not made explicit in the media. I would read articles here and there that seemed to indicate positive trends in the world. Once I started to look for that pattern, I focused on seeing the big picture. I learned that the story of history is one of advancing peace - in the areas of health, technology, equality, democracy, and more. I think the message of the Secret Peace - that world peace is inevitable, and close - is an important message to get out there because the media often misses the forest for the trees. By (necessarily) reporting on day-to-day crises, they can miss subtle trends that operate in the background of society. Without this extra information, it's all too easy to be frustrated, cynical and depressed by the news of the world. But if we can see that our efforts are working, we can overcome apathy and work to bring peace to the world even faster."

TW: When we see the tension in Iran and wars all over the world, it is difficult to believe that peace is possible. Do you really believe in it?

JR: Yes, but it's not a question of belief; I try to show that concrete evidence points toward a future of peace. Based on historical trends, I predict that there is a near-100% probability that peace is on its way; it's just the timing that's in question. And, I suppose that accepting that prediction is a form of belief.

TW: Would you say that all the religions are working for peace?

JR: Sure, but that's only because most people are working towards peace, whether they know it or not, and whether they are religious or not.  By simply living their lives and trying to make their lot better for themselves and their loved ones, people will advance the cause of peace. The trends in the book are not religious in nature; they will happen with or without the participation of the world's religions. The world's few violent religious fanatics do have the ability to hinder the process but that would only delay the inevitable peace. I will say (though we don't know if this is causal) that as religion has played a more quiet role in history, peaceful trends have advanced faster.

TW: We all wonder if our children will see peace in their life time. What’s your take on this, Jesse?

JR: Well, depending on where you live, our children do have peace in their life time.  One of the secrets of The Secret Peace is that peace is here, but it is just not evenly distributed. There are places in the world that currently meet the standards of peace as anyone throughout history would have defined them - health, abundance, and freedom. We take so much for granted. But as society has advanced, our standards for what we call peace have advanced too. Mostly, this is a good thing; it means we will always be striving to better ourselves. So peace itself is not a fixed destination, but a constantly evolving state. It's our responsibility to take the relative peace we enjoy and make sure everyone worldwide can share in its benefits.

TW: Could this be utopia?  After all, is there any evidence out there proving to us that peace is on its way?

JR: Here are some eye-opening examples: The number of nuclear weapons in the world has decreased by almost 75% since its height in 1985. Global life expectancy is 68 years and climbing fast. 40 percent of people in Africa now own a mobile phone. The world's literacy rate is 83 percent (in 1970 it was 63 percent). And the number of people killed in wars keeps dropping steadily, year after year. Those are just some samples - they weave together into bigger, even more dramatic trends.

TW: Jesse tell us more about yourself. Should we see you as a writer or an artist?

JR:  I am an artist, and I organize the Central Park Sketching and Art Meet-up Group, which now has well over 1,000 members. I went to college for art as well as nonfiction writing. Art led me to graphic design, then shifting to the online world, becoming an Art Director and an online Product Manager. I  now work for Meet-up, a web site that helps millions of people self-organize into local groups, rejuvenating communities around the world. I'm also a member of Mensa and an experienced public speaker on topics such as critical thinking, democracy, peace, and technology.

TW: It was wonderful chatting with you, Jesse. I am sure that our readers will love reading your new book calling for action to step up our efforts to spread peace to all corners of the earth. Thank you Jesse.

Jessie: The Secret Peace is available at

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