Some members of YALI RLC (Accra, Dakar, and Lagos) Alumni Chapter of Cameroon, during their Constitutive General Assembly in 2017, joining their voices to encourage peace in Cameroon, Africa, and the world.
Peace is the state of harmony that exists between one’s spirit, mind, soul, and body, and determines the way in which we interact with each other and relate with our natural environment. It signifies freedom from worry and trouble. It comes from looking for the good in others, facing our fears, and letting-go – in the positive hope that things will turn out all right.
Peace can be achieved when we become aware of ourselves and work to improve on our way of thinking, acting, and reacting as we relate with each other – towards achieving harmony beyond the barriers that keep us in constant conflict and suffering.
Peace is not an island. It cannot stand on its own right or merit. The cradle of peace is justice – that is, the fair and objective treatment of people in thought, word, and action, irrespective of their origin, creed, caste, colour, status, or so. True peace is not the absence of tension, war, or conflict, but the presence of justice. Justice isn’t about rewarding one’s friends or relatives and punishing one’s enemies or those who hold contrary opinion. It isn’t about the interest of the stronger party either. It is about protecting the rights of people, providing equal access to the basic needs for well-being or in earning a living.
Justice and peace are inseparable. Where justice rules, peace reigns. Peace without justice is hypocrisy. Where there is no justice, peace flees away, and negativity sets in with time, resulting in anger, tension, conflict, and violence.
Likewise, peace is the ability to handle conflict – should it arise – by nonviolent means. By our human nature, we are bound to conflict because of differences in opinions, beliefs, creeds, and more. As such, real peace cannot be kept by force, but can be secured only through mutual respect, tolerance, understanding, agreement, reconciliation, and the recognition and celebration of our diversity or heterogeneity – as we work together to improve our lives and communities.
Keeping and sustaining peace is a sacred obligation. We can’t gain long-lasting peace with fear, suspicion, and or doubt.
Peace is not something you wish for, it is something you build by doing or working for, which eventually makes you who you are. For example, positivism is a genuine incentive for peace. Thus, the more the mind is nurtured with cheerful thoughts like kindness, fairness, empathy, compassion, love, joy, humility, generosity, etc – the greater the possibility for peace to thrive.
Everyone can be a peacemaker. Yes!!! We all can be artisans of peace. Thus, like Martin Luther King Jr., let justice rule from North to South, East to West; and let it rule in every heart and mind from the highest, to the least personality in every society.
Peace be with you.
Photo credit: TEMBI Mavis YELUMA