04 November 2011

Blog Blast for Peace 2011

Peace = Respect + Understanding
Co-existence = Peace

A few years back I was invited to join a group of teens in my community on an international conference and the topic given to our group to discuss and present was Peace. It was both adventurous and ironic because the adult members of the group were in disagreement and some of the members seem unqualified to be part of the group and the rest were affected and confused and afraid to lose the chance to travel and participate in the conference.

This kind of situation is common when people come together and try to make their individual presence count and be meaningful to the group and its cause. In the conference above, one of the teens asked me why I seem insistent and uncompromising and how he viewed it as a negative trait. And I found the opportunity to explain the essence of peace by saying that peace is not the absence of disagreements but the absence of respect. People must learn the beauty of a dialogue which is an exchange of opinions which may run contrary to ours. To be able to distill and listen to the many voices around us and view them with respect. To my surprise, the teenage boy incorporated this very essence of peace in his speech at the conference.

All of us have differing opinions and the exchange of ideas, no matter how passionate, must always be allowed the freedom to be expressed in a climate of a healthy dialogue.

For me, peace is a simple word that equates to respect.
Only within that sphere can a compromise be possible.

For Mimi Lenox Blog Blast for Peace 2011.