Peace Blogfest 2012


Happy International Day of Peace everyone!

Those participating in the Peace Blogfest include:
Ravena Guron

For the Peace Day Blogfest, I prompted participants with the question what does peace mean to you? I had many reasons for asking this question: I was curious as to what the different perspectives are; I believe we should hear every possible side of an argument in order to come to a conclusion about how to proceed; and I wanted a more individualistic approach to the blogfest, encouraging participants to express their deep opinions with logic and a personal touch. But mainly, I asked this question because of my own answer to the question.

To me, peace means respect, support, empathy, forgiveness of, and nonviolence toward all people, regardless of their race, religion, socioeconomic status, or any other factor that differentiates one individual or group from another.

When the subject of peace comes up in conversation, most people immediately think it is a global or political issue, something left up to the government to regulate. I disagree with this idea. There is more to “peace” than “world peace.” While world peace is the end goal, the main objective, it is impossible unless countries can find peace within their borders; unless communities can find peace between their groups; unless families can find peace in domestic arguments; and most significantly, unless individual people can find peace within themselves.

I believe that the root of all unrest in the world is anger. Obviously it can manifest itself in numerous forms: anger at not getting what you want, not getting your way, wanting more than you have, others disagreeing with you, and much more—some people just wake up angry for no reason at all. Also, mob mentality and the search for belongingness can exacerbate anger (though it can also exacerbate peace, but more on that later).This anger, which is most often sparked by circumstances beyond the angry person’s control, can lead to violence, be it physical or verbal. Because a person is angered by external forces (other people’s behavior, bad luck, or “the system,” for example), they may feel out of control of the situation and may act out of frustration. An angry individual is overcome by their emotion: they become egocentric, putting their own selfish interests above anyone else’s, which may lead them to dominate over others to make them feel good about themselves or, conversely, lead them to feel guilty for their actions and therefore angry at themselves—but the result is that they are still angry and nothing is resolved.

An angry person is a single-minded person, unable to see the other side of the story. They believe their view is the right view. But as Friedrich Nietzsche said, “There is no truth; there is only perspective.” Instead of letting our anger control us, we must learn to control our anger and shift our perspective from the negative to the positive. Even neutral is a good start. If you approach a stressful situation with acceptance instead of frustration, you will react with peace and nonviolence. When you see violence in the world, do not respond with violence; even when you witness an act of violence but are afraid to confront the angry individual, do not see your fear as a failure, but see your own nonviolence as social progress. When you are at peace with yourself, your actions will reflect your outlook, and others will learn from your example.

“There is no truth; there is only perspective.” This is whyI read. This is why I enjoy absorbing knowledge from other cultures. This is why I’m asking: what does peace mean to you?

Instead of segregating humanity into what makes us different, we should embrace our differences and focus on the aspects that unite us. On a global scale, this appears daunting, but as the hundreds of determined individuals in our world’s history have proven, we have the capability to change the world by being the change we wish to see in it; by acknowledging our anger and letting it go; by forgiving those who anger us or partake in activities we deem unrighteous (they have their own perspective and may see their actions as just!); and by exploring our capacity to love unconditionally our fellow earth-inhabitants despite the torments that surround us each day.

Peace, Aimee