We all want peace and still…we do nothing or too little to make it possible. The very meaning of the word “peace” has been shifted from the sphere of reality to a utopian dimension, making it the dream of the hippies or naive idealists and abusively inserting the notion into unreliable political speeches. Therefore, peace is seen as an illusion or a lie. We don’t believe anymore in peace just as we don’t believe in fairy tales. Consequently, we refuse our right to peace and to a fairy tale-like life.
Today is the International Day of Peace and its theme is the right of peoples to peace proclaimed by the 30th United Nations General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace in the context of the Cold War and directed especially towards the elimination of the nuclear war threat. The current international situation (see the boiling Middle East, the Crimean crisis, Sudanese civil war and so on) shows us the limits of our efforts to ensure peace and urge us to reflect on a few questions:
- What happens if our right to peace is violated?
Usually the international community or the concerned parties play the diplomacy card. In other words they negotiate untill they find a common ground. If they fail, the abusive state is subjected to economic sanctions. Will the abusers suffer? Too little. Will they be stopped? Unlikely. Economic sanctions do not have the power to improve the situation of citizens, but they do have the power to worsen it. Economic sanctions violate the right of citizens to development by refusing them the access to resources, and therefore violate their right to peace. It’s an unfortunate paradox which instead of solving the problem deepens it. Of course, if the economic sanctions are applied only to stop the import of weapons the situation can be slightly different. But still they cannot restore peace.
The worst scenario used is bringing peace by war. We don’t (want to) live in George Orwell’s Oceania and still we use(d) the famous slogan “War is peace” from 1984. Think about the results of the so-called “preemptive wars” of the US and you’ll see my point: You can neither prevent a war by war, nor end it. It’s a contradiction!
- So, What happens if our right to peace is violated?
Most of the time nothing …
Because although we have the right to peace, we are not bound to exercise it. The right to peace is obviously not an obligation, it’s a choice, while international law is still not powerful enough to ensure the respect of the right to peace. Of course, we have the Geneva Conventions of 1949 which regulates the conduct of conflicts and protects civilians, but they don’t make war unlawful.
- What do we do for peace?
Celebrate International Day of Peace in line with the activities proposed by the UN?
Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, sitting in silent meditation, or doing a good deed for someone you don’t know. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, community or government engaged in a large event. You can also share thoughts, messages and pictures to commemorate Peace Day on social media.- http://internationaldayofpeace.org/
It’s not a bad idea to help others, to meditate, but do large events like concerts, Peace day selfies really help? I agree, they raise awareness, they set a trend for a day and from tomorrow on everything goes back to “normal”. Shouldn’t we celebrate peace every day? And not only through shapes without substances… Today peace might be on the crest of a wave, what about tomorrow? Will we return to our selfishness or continue to promote peace and love? Unfortunately trends are changing… and as Jimi Hendrix said only “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”
What can you do for peace?
- Educate yourself- read as much as you can and always keep your mind open, don’t fall for absolute truths,
- Find a positive role-model (mine is Gandhi),
- Inform yourself– know what’s happening in the world,
- Raise your voice, show that you care,
- Develope your emotional intelligence,
- Put yourself in the shoes of others,
- Search for your inner peace– a peaceful person cannot be attracted into useless conflicts,
- “Be the change you want to see in the world (Gandhi)
Not today. Everyday!