The world has a way of being unforgiving, and sometimes our peace and tranquillity can be challenged by things out of our control. In these uncertain times, when things may not be as harmonious as we’d like them to be, it’s important for us to find peace in a way that suits us as individuals – whether it’s through meditative rituals, exercise, or just acting with kindness in our day to day lives.

Last week marked the 40th anniversary of The International Day of Peace, established by the United Nations in 1981 to encourage solidarity all over the world by standing against discrimination and injustice. 

Photo: Lily Bartley

To shine light on a day close to our hearts, we sat down in the open air with some of our young people and staff members to find out what peace means to them, uncovering an array of valuable perspectives, and playing a huge part in restoring our hope for a better world.

“Peace is a responsibility, it’s a response…so peace is a response to something that might be happening around me – or in the world,” explained Leo, Youth Leadership Coordinator at Fight for Peace.

“To me, there are two types of peace – internal peace, and peace in the world…,” he continued.

Photo: Lily Bartley

Leading on from Leo’s thoughts, Fight for Peace Alliance Programme manager, Carolina shared her own personal understanding of internal peace.

“Internal peace is totally related to world peace, because without individual peace I would say – you have a war.”

“But if you have people in peace with themselves and with each other -you’ll have world peace, or community peace,” Carolina continued. 

We were met by a strong sense of individuality in views, teaching us that peace can mean something different for everybody. 

Fight for Peace member, Athena, introduced herself to the discussion by explaining why for her, peace only has a single definition. 

“I think ultimately, [peace is] a feeling…Some people think there’s no world peace at the moment…because of all the wars and discrimination…”

Photo: Lily Bartley

“But I feel like…not everyone [believes] there’s no peace in the world. There will be some people who find peace in the world through all that is happening, and there will be some people who don’t find peace.”

“But ultimately – I think there’s just one definition, which in my eyes – is a feeling,” she continued.

WhereasFight for Peace member, Promise believes “it’s really just about taking a walk and finding out who you really are.”

“Peace is a journey, and not just a feeling or a place or an understanding.”

Romano, a Youth Council member at Fight for Peace, left us with some important questions to ponder.  

“Do we want to go down the route of conflict? Or do we want to go down the route of a peaceful resolution? Do we want to make friends? Or do we want to make enemies?” he asked. 

“Peace is mainly a choice. It’s what we choose to do in our daily lives…. That’s what peace is to me.”

Photo: Lily Bartley

We strive to deliver our founding principle through all of the work that we do by fighting for peace within our communities. And our young people are at the centre of this contributing greatly to the society we live in by standing up for peace in their own individual ways. Hearing the perspectives of the leaders of tomorrow allows us to further explore our own understanding of peace, building our hope for a better world.

You can head over to our Instagram and Twitter pages to hear more of our International Day of Peace discussion, and give us a follow if you want to receive more frequent updates on this project, and those to come.

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