If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything
– Peter Marshall
Recognizing the values we each represent is important, but understanding why we represent these values is just as important. In honor of this year’s International day of World Peace celebrated on September 15, we at The Organization for World Peace launched a competition as part of this year’s theme: Promoting peace through inclusive action. The focus on the participatory action of youth across the globe emphasized the interest of young people in contributing to peace-building, and was an opportunity for the Organization for World Peace to remind world leaders of the need to create platforms that include youths in peace-building processes.
On that note, we are pleased to share with you the outstanding responses we received. A big thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s competition! We appreciate the demonstrated iniative of these youths in advocating for peace in their lives.
While all of the responses express beautiful messages and enhance the ongoing conversation, we are honoured to share one special message. This response comes from our youngest participant, who wrote to us from Parkistan: Congratulations to Bushra Emman!
Here is what Bushra had to say about: Why we stand for peace and why is peace important to us?
After a lot of thought and contemplation I came to the conclusion that peace is an inner battle. Our insecurities allow race to disconnect us, religion to separate us and wealth to classify us. For me, peace means not being afraid of diversity. We try to bring everything back to ‘normal’ instead of celebrating its uniqueness. Imagine if there were only white people…the world will certainly lose its colour. So instead of giving labels, we need to have the audacity to accept people for who they are. We need to calm our own souls and once we’re successful in doing so there’ll be peace all around. The person reading my message, yes you might not agree with me and I am perfectly fine with that. I am ready to see the world through your eyes as I refuse to bow down before the shadows of fear. Also because I believe in peace and will stand for it even if I stand all alone.
Bushra Emman -Pakistan
Here are a few more outstanding responses, shared by your comrades in peace-building from all over the world:
Where there is peace, people live in dignity. Where people live in dignity, there is harmony. With peace, people speak one voice because peaceful minds believe in togetherness as their strength to overcome the enemy of the people. Oh peace is a human necessity. Just a solution to every problem that afflict our poor mortal world. Honor and respect of differences is what I call peace because to be peaceful is learning to live with ignorance about other people’s cultures, values, race, and religions. Peace is the enemy of oppression. The only best friend of the poor and the minority.
Micheal Nelson Byaruhanga
The world has been plagued with violence, war, genocide and all manner of vices over the years, making us to wonder if there would be a time we would truly experience peace, forgiveness and love. I believe the time has come where every government should lay aside their long-held grievances and embrace forgiveness; where we become our brother’s keeper and show true love to our neighbour; where the killings, coup d’état would come to a stop and we can freely move about without the presence of bodyguards; where we can live as one. I believe the time is now.
Idemudi Isaac Ebanehita -Nigeria
In addition to our winning messages, the OWP team in Cameroon spoke to some youth leaders and peace activists. This is what they had to say:
I stand for peace because peace is a universal language understood by humanity it is the very essence of our existence and the hope for a sustainable future.
Awanto N. Ernest – Cameroon
[Peace Rebel at Peace Revolution]
There is no economic progress without peace, Peace is fundamental in the reduction of poverty.
Mouhamadou M. Mokolo – N. Cameroon [Youth leader at AJERMAT]
The absence of peace is a barrier to political, economic, and sociocultural growth. Peace is a treasure that must be valued.
Sevidzem E. Sunjo
[Peace Activist/ Researcher]
Millions of young girls and women are deprived of a life, an education, a right to their body, and an opportunity to contributing to the well-being of society because of war.
Tudi N. Nathalie
[Organization For World Peace]
And finally, a word from OWP founder and president:
Peace is a often seen as a luxury, when instead, it should be considered a right. the absence of peace destroys families, societies, and communities, and has a devastating tole on economies, thus being a root cause of underdevelopment. Without peace, nations spend trillions of dollars annually fighting or funding destruction, rather than promoting sustainable development and the betterment of the world’s people. Peace needs to be understood as a right, and this right can only be realized through peaceful, non-combative solutions to world issues. If grievances are political, social or economic, then they require a political, social or economic response. Yet, we continue to use military means in response to non-military issues, effectively trying to use war to make peace: Band-aid solutions.
Peace can only be achieved through peaceful solutions that seek to address the core issues perpetuating conflict. Bombing the bad guys is not how you create sustainable peace. Peace is important because once it is achieved, society will be able to progress; War will not be able to destroy families and nations, and money that has been wasted on war fighting can go to more noble causes such as the betterment and progress of humanity. #worldpeaceispossible
Matthew Savoy – Canada
President at The Organization for World Peace
Remember to Tweet us @theowpeace with the hashtag #worldpeaceispossible to tell us why peace is important to you!