What is peace? If you only have a definition because you had a chance to browse all your schoolbooks, then let me rephrase this: what does peace mean to you?
To celebrate the International Day of Peace, I want to share with you my own understanding of peace and what I am doing to achieve it. Here are 3 definitions of Peace!
1. The Absence of War
If you are associating peace with the Flower Power movement and the hippie culture, you are not the only one. As a child, I used to draw the peace symbol everywhere, because it meant love, positivity and, most importantly back then, no violence.
Growing up, I used to embrace the same feelings, seeing pictures with flowers being placed in guns and people being willing to stop the violence spreading in the world.
Soon after I became an International Law enthusiast, I truly began to understand that peace means the absence of war. Even if it feels impossible to achieve it, there are hundreds of places in the world, thousands of moments in history, when we strived to end violence. We strived to support and love each other in the purest way and to share this world together, without having disputes over land, resources, nationality or our own rights.
The fight is not over, but neither are our efforts to make a difference and to stop it.
2. Taking Care of What We See Around Us
These efforts are useless if we don’t have a world to live in. As part of the generation that was not forced to go to war in my country, I got involved in a fight that was there all along.
I’ve recently begun to realize that peace also means taking care of everything we see around us. Climate change is just a way of our planet fighting against us, as it feels attacked and hurt by our irresponsible actions. Peace means to commit ourselves to save the Earth, to stop being reckless and to start acting.
By simply turning off the lights, reducing, reusing, recycling, going off meat a couple of days or inspiring others to join you in your efforts, you become a peace-builder. You are slowly contributing to a calm and safe environment, that will eventually be grateful for everything you have done and will let you enjoy everything it has to offer.
3. Mutual Understanding & Self-Love
Peace is also about mutual understanding and self-love. A peaceful world is a place where we are all enjoying the same opportunities, while also learning to appreciate ourselves and to start contributing to a more inclusive society. We are all different, but these distinct qualities are what make us special and able to live together.
Peace means freedom, the freedom of being ourselves and of appreciating the others for who they are and who they are willing to become. It means the opportunity to enjoy the same human rights and to make sure that no one is denying them to other people.
It is not just about the absence of violence, peace is also an illustration of tolerance, diversity, and stability. Peace is not an impossible goal to achieve, it just takes a lot of determination and a hand full of people willing to make a change in the world.
In AIESEC, we place our confidence in youth. Especially those who are willing to get out of their comfort zone and act in order to achieve peace in any of its definitions. And you can be one of them!
Today, we challenge you to share with us your own definition of peace and to also start thinking… what are you doing to achieve peace in this world?
An article by Florina-Marieta Neagu, International Law enthusiast, Model European Union participant and AIESEC alumna.
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