Commentaries | Dec 21,2019
June 29 , 2019
By Tsion Fisseha ( Tsion Fisseha is a writer and head of foreign languages in the news department at a local TV station. She has been a part of a pan African poetry slam competition representing Ethiopia and is a member of a rock band entitled the Green Manalishi. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. )
When the question “what is the one thing you would want?” is asked in a beauty pageant almost every contestant responds with “world peace”. World peace, however, is such a broad concept. It is a concept which surpasses one specific meaning. It is a concept that seems a bit impossible to achieve in this day and age.
The irony of the concept comes from the peace that is ignored in an attempt to achieve it. This is, of course, attributed to the sacrifices that should be made for the greater good. War has been a recurrent phenomenon, which is as old as roman history itself. It is a way of acquiring power in order to manifest one’s own agenda. It is an act that shows who the boss is. History shows us that war is caused by an accumulation of little bitter feelings that all of a sudden engulfs an entire continent. The beginning of various conflicts in history allows spectators fragments of escape routes that could have been taken to avoid war.
Of course, war can also be said to be one element of what it is to be human. It is part of the human condition. Human beings, by nature, have a set of rules and regulations that they abide by and that they adhere to. They also have a set of desires and needs that need to be fulfilled to have a satisfying life. These desires and needs, knowingly or unknowingly, are sometimes taken away from a specific group of people or a particular individual that ultimately causes agitation and frustration.
This lack of personal peace due to external factors refusing to be in sync with one’s values causes unhappiness. The resulting dissatisfaction of an individual affects a community, a country, a continent and a planet as a whole. This dissatisfaction surely enough acts as building blocks for aggression and countermeasures to defend against it. That need to protect oneself against the assault of others and the resulting arms race even leads to the amassing of weapons of mass destruction.
Despite its ugly face, war is front-page news in almost every country of the world, and Ethiopia is no exception. The nation has been in and out of wars for political and economic reasons for decades. While some are a symbol of strength and a glimpse of hope for the entire continent, others are a reason for despair and segmentation of the country itself.
The past week has been engulfed with news of an act of violence that has led to the death of five high-ranking officials. That might or might not act as a stepping stone for an age of horror. But it certainly has made for a dark week in the country. Glimpses of darkness are scary facts that could be detrimental to the mental health of individuals that are a part of a country that is going through acts of violence and tragedy.
That is why, when beauty pageant contestants, children and citizens of the globe are asked about what they really want, they respond with “world peace”.
But world peace is not merely a lack of war. It entails more than that. It shows health, wealth and happiness all wrapped in one box for everyone to share. It speaks of never thinking about nuclear programs or conflicts between powerful countries. It means no wartime sexually-abused victims.
World peace, a concept that seems far-fetched and almost always overlooked, is not in the hands of governments and human rights associations. It is something that every individual has power over. That is why one has to be able to fight wars, not with people but with ideas — struggling with the mentality that degrades the environment — wrestling with concepts that attempt to tear down love and harmony — fighting with illiteracy. And fighting to cultivate a world that is at peace for generations to come.
World peace for every one of us, in the only planet that we have been given, is an aspiration that should move every citizen of the world.
PUBLISHED ON Jun 29,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1000]
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