Celebrate The World #InternationalDayOfPeace in a Special Way.
Over the last few years Peace One Day has been measuring the impact of Peace Day across the globe. Today I am delighted to share with you my thoughts on the international peace day. Warmonger, despot, brutality, warfare – all of these words are in the dictionary, and for good reason. It’s important to have the words to express the world around us, particularly those related to violent conflict, which is on the rise around the world and one of the leading causes of human suffering. But it’s also important to be able to talk about how we can build peace.
Building peace that lasts takes dedication, time and courage, with people working together, across divides, in the most difficult of circumstances. To stop violent conflict in the long term, you have to address the reasons why people fight in the first place, so that people can find ways to resolve conflict non-violently and don’t turn to violence again. We think the world needs to hear more stories about peace right now. From the state of our broken world and global worries all the way down to our personal day-to-day troubles, worry and helplessness can threaten to overtake us.
In the Kenyan language, Swahili, there is no single word that means peace. In fact, there is a whole gamut of words that could mean peace. I am not sure if it is a good thing or a bad thing. But what I do know is that right now, the whole world craves for an elusive peace, which may in the end, mean different things to different people. For the child in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Madagascar, Kenya, Philippines, Jamaica, USA and even United Kingdom, peace means a thing to them.
Nevertheless, what most people of my generation would wholly subscribe to is that we had a peace of sorts in our childhood. Growing up in an dark village out of civilization, one can only remember how the then man of the house would every evening turn on the BBC Swahili world service to know what happening around the world. Although my village was hard to understand lack of peace where the unpaved roads were swept daily by mainly women with handmade brooms from the coconut palms, not even the wildest of dreamers among us could have imagined the world that we face today. It used to be a country where people stopped in mid-stride when they heard the Islamic call for prayers; a country where we stood up when our parents walked into the room, a country where our neighbours would discipline us as if we were their own children.
What we see today is more than the generation gap. What we see today is the disintegration of the social fabric that binds us all together as a society creating peace. What we see today is the religion that has bounded and bonded us as the world for more than 2000 years being used as a political tool, and not ever our youngest generation is escaping its perils. Bomb blast here bomb scare there, gun men all around, am truly disturbed. Who would take your young child to a violent demonstration where flags are burnt? Who would take your young child to hear people cry “Burn America” “Burn the Jews”? Who would give toy guns to your little girl and boy while holding a poster “America, you are inviting us to terrorism”? But this is the reality we face today. We see young children surrounded by hate-filled cries for violence and revenge is equally appalling. At the end, you are left with an empty void, a feeling of helplessness that there is very little you can do to bring back the elusive peace that everyone seems to want. But then again something keeps you clinging on to that bit of hope that a miracle would happen; somehow we would achieve that peace we seem to be groping for.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank each and every one of you, for when you are talking to humans, miracles happen. Her erudite and profound way of getting to the bottom of what it is we believe is second to none. I’ve watched as humans listens to someone and finds a way of getting exactly to where that person needs to see from, just by being her wonderful and intuitive self. Her name fits her perfectly, this sparkling ray of light has blessed so many with her humorous musings, which hide profound trusts, all wrapped up in a giggle or three. Humanity is simply love on legs. Time spent in the company of this gorgeous soul can only bring more joy and everlasting peace into anyone’s life. Let’s all strive to make the world a peaceful place.