We know when something is present because we have experienced its absence. We know something is bad because we have seen the ‘good’ counterpart. We know right from wrong because we have experienced both…we know what ‘peace’ is because we have not only seen but experienced otherwise. People have different opinion on what peace means, the level of its importance and how it can be fostered among individuals. If you ask a group of people to give synonyms for the word ‘peace’ and their understanding of it, you’d get varying data. It is good that everyone has a mind of their own and are conscious of it but it is not only better but best if they come together to share their thoughts on matters before reaching a final conclusion. Inna Valdes and Rimesh Khanal(UNESCO peace ambassadors)and I have come together to share our pieces of peace i.e. what we think ‘peace’ means and our advice for individuals concerning it. We hope, you’ll be gracious enough to share your thoughts on peace with us too so we can learn. We do this with a simple focus: to share knowledge and educate one another on matters of peace in different areas of existence…in simple terms.
PEACE STARTS WITH YOU- INNA VALDES
‘Peace is not just about having no war-like conflicts, but peace is having no conflicts whatsoever with yourself, peers, surrounding and society. It’s somewhat being at ease, and having a general feeling of happiness. It is important to attain peace not just with the people around you, but with yourself. Peace starts in little things, the everyday acts of greeting your parents in the morning, the act of saying hello to a street vendor when you leave to do your daily routines etc. It is those little acts of kindness that pave the way to our ultimate goal of having peace.
We strive for peace because what is life with so much conflict? Why live in a world where everything leads to a problem? It is hard to be in a negative situation, like for example in times when you have misunderstandings with a friend or your family, that heavy uncomfortable gut feeling you get, knowing you're not in good terms with someone you love. That's why we strive for peace, because even when men are naturally are in disdain, we as well, naturally choose to love.
As a UNESCO Peace Ambassador I focused on Animal Cruelty Awareness. I was able to create a fashion show that advocated Animal Cruelty Awareness. It was modernized in a way that its target audience was the youth who can pave the way now towards a better future. Targeting the youth in issues that they are not directly affected can change their mentality on such matters. By exposing them in situations where they can see that in one way or another, they're actually affected, and they just don't realize it.
My "piece" of peace would be that peace starts in little things. It starts with you and slowly radiates to other people. Find what gives you peace. It could be acts beneficial for yourself at the moment, something you feel good about, because one way or another, if you feel good with something that you've done, you'd eventually share that feeling to the world. Also, don't be afraid to change the world, because the people who are crazy enough to believe that they can actually do.
MY PIECE OF PEACE- RIMESH KHANAL
Peace is a word that is higher than the Mountains and deeper than the sea. A Peaceful society is what we expect. Peace, to me means believing yourself ,what you are doing and the result you hear with positive response. Being a Youth Peace Ambassador my role as an agent of peace has developed and I am responsible towards my community and country. I am trying to create awareness and educate youths in my country by conducting several International Forums. To make my work official I founded a club known as Youth's UNESCO Club in Kathmandu,Nepal. We work as a team helping each other and trying to effect peace between us and in our community. We never discourage each other in the name of Religion, races, or anything. We listen and research what others say and the feelings of other people. I believe each and every country is equally important and each should be strong enough to respect certain rules and regulations as laid down by the constitution of each country. Also, we need each and every country is like a food chain of living beings. Let those who understand these things create positive changes where necessary and our world would be Peaceful, happier and Prosperous.
I have not always known peace. I have fought hard with myself over frustration, irritation, depression…even life itself. For two weeks, I drank from the river of depression and two years I walked a long, dark, cold road. Whenever I hear the word ‘peace’, I am not sure how exactly to respond but I know I once lacked it and now have it. Do not ask me to explain how, it’s a knowing; one of those things you know but can’t really explain. The ones who relate are those who have been there and some who are. Listen, I am a ‘radical’ non-conformist, thinkist, social worker, writer amongst other things. It is in the light of this that I understand how hard it can be for one to step out of what one has always known (by whatever means) and open one’s mind to other things.It is extremely important that a man be at peace with himself. I have known what it is to war with self, fighting with old hand-me-down techniques till I tried something, no, someone new. I tried Jesus and I now have peace like no other. I do not know your story (okay, this sounds like a sermon, bear with me but because I’ve been there, I can’t shut my trap so kindly track a little further with me, okay?) but I know that whatever it is Jesus can fix it and he can give you peace. Till you have peace friend, work, kids, projects, money etc. can’t fill that disturbing, achy, and life-twisting place in your heart. Happy International Day of Peace. Jesus loves you, Jesus saves #InSimpleTerms
ON A LIGHTER NOTE
Well Inna seems to think people who believe they can change the world are crazy! Tag me up as one anytime! Oh, Inna and I encourage you to share in our ‘craziness’. We believe in change, we believe in peace, we believe in ‘believe’ itself. The threesome of Inna, Rimesh and I enjoin you to be at peace with yourself for you must first have something and know its worth before you share it with the people around you.
Compiled by Mary Ajayi @megadoxa