As International Peace Day is celebrated around the world. Schema’s Michelle Pham asks youth around the world about their definition of peace.
As an Albanian living in Kosovo during the Kosovo War, I have seen a first-hand account of how war can tear a society apart. Peace is often taken for granted in countries unaffected by war – but it is a precious thing. Peace is harmony and respect.
-Enika Bushi – International Relations Coordinator, Eurosapiens Youth Association in Rome
Peace to me is an ideal. It’s not really possible, but it’s important to strive for in whatever form it takes, internally or in a global-conflicts-sort of way.
-Ian Nakamoto – Emily Carr Arts Student, Vancouver
Peace is when there is a great tolerance in human beings; when the majority respects the minority and when everyone has freedom of choice and equal rights. We can foster peace simply by respecting all friends that come from different religions, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds.
-Nastiti Unami – Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia,
Understanding different perspectives and viewpoints. The most important thing is being able to have empathy. We should agree to disagree and that’s okay as long as the dissent is focused on the argument and not the person.
-Colin Siu – University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Peace is freedom of expression and living without fear of conflict – it’s also an idealistic state of world. A long as there’s the conflict of competition, it’s not possible to have peace. It’s something people have been trying to figure out for a long time; thus came Marxism, Communism and Capitalism. In my opinion, the Cold War is everlasting.
-Dami Lee – Germany
Peace for me is more like equality. When the rich and powerful are not oppressing the poor. When people stop being selfish and exploit others. When we stop destroying the planet. Through awareness and charity, perhaps we can foster more peace. Nevertheless, it would still be difficult since it’s human nature to care for oneself first. We do all want it – we understand what we have to pay for it, yet we aren’t willing to give up what we have to achieve it.
-Steven Cheng – Duke University, United States of America
Peace is a mix of idealism and realism. Conflict as a whole is something that we have to learn to deal with. Peace on the other hand, is where conflict is resolved with non-violent solutions. For example, despite the fact that the country where I’m living is technically at ‘war’, I feel more at peace, and more safe on the streets late at night here than I have ever in any country before. THAT is how I believe we can begin to foster world peace. Small steps, people going abroad, visiting cities/countries where physical violence is not an everyday occurrence, and feel the sense of ease that residents are able to live their lives with on a daily basis.
-Jacob Kalmakoff – Seoul National University, Korea