Peace goes beyond the absence of conflicts
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Peace goes beyond the absence of conflicts

By: Ma. Fernanda Camacho  (Translated by Allison Párraga)

The essence of good coexistence is: "Live in respect and harmony with others"

According to the Oxford dictionary, peace is a situation or state in which there is no war or struggle between two or more opposing parties. But peace goes much further, peace is respecting each other, accepting, and appreciating differences, fighting for injustices, supporting people who need it most. Peace is not only the absence of war, but also peace is loving your neighbor, judging less, and loving more.

The United Nations General Assembly declared May 16 as the International Day of Living in Peace. This day seeks to eradicate and raise awareness about intolerance and discrimination based on gender, language, race, color, religion, political ideology, social or economic condition, among other aspects that affect people’s lives.

WHAT DOES PEACE MEAN FOR PEOPLE?

  • To Andrea, a 40-year-old woman, peace is living in harmony with herself and her environment. Sleeping peacefully knowing that you are not hurting anyone is part of feeling peace, according to Andrea. She believes that if you are okay internally, you can share that reassurance with other people. Andrea says that living with respect and tolerance is also part of having a peaceful coexistence.
  • Joaquín, a 13-year-old boy, thinks that peace is that people get along. But he also believes that peace does not hurt anyone, does not hurt others, even when there is no good relationship involved.
  • According to María Emilia, a 20-year-old girl, peace means feeling calm with every decision that is made. Peace for her is feeling calm and full at any time, without harming anyone. Emilia believes that crime, corruption, and lack of respect go against peace.

INTERNAL CHANGE

It is difficult to speak of peace when most of the news is related to violence, death, and conflict. Nobody said that it is easy to deconstruct the violence that is spreading throughout the world. However, change can start with yourself.

From our place, we can help to produce an environment of peace where disrespect and lack of humanity are not accepted. Change can begin if we learn to be more respectful, supportive, and empathetic to the pain of others. Let us treat other people as we would like them to treat us, let us start this transformation now.

Let us imagine that in our home the discussions do not turn into “wars” of knowing the points of view of the interlocutor, be it the father, the wife, the children, or simply between people. That the divergence of ideas does not trigger abuses but rather consensus in the search for a middle ground, and those ideas are to achieve the common good and not the individual.

Let us imagine that the discords can be discussed to clarify, but not to deepen the problems but to obtain solutions, that the misunderstandings have been only rumors and that the truth is reached. 

How much peace can we get if we only start by understanding, listening, respecting the idea of ​​the other? How much peace can we have if we put ourselves in the place of the other? Let us learn to listen and observe while we judge less.