Peace Across Waters
2nd Prize in 15-17 age group
by Kashi Dubariya from United Kingdom
Peace can be defined as a state in which there is no war, conflict or harm between or caused by others. A peaceful future is one that is highly sought after, it’s highly philosophised and can be described as an impossible feat. However, among this cloud of uncertainty and pessimism, often conveyed in the media, there is always a means to achieve a world that is tranquil/unplagued by conflict. It is just a matter of determination, courage and passion. Peace within oneself, between people and nations are all interrelated.
Inner peace can be seen by young people as the first step to achieving peace between people and nations. Tensions between people often arise due to a defence mechanism known as projecting, which can cause unwanted/unintended conflict between people. This along with insecurities magnified by social media, and people being given different particularistic values from a young age, can lead to people having many distinct norms/values from one another. This may lead to people turning to certain nationalistic or even hateful movements against individual countries or even as small-scale as bullying to feel closer together and feel comfort via ‘herding’ together.
Finding confidence in one’s own appearance, interests and strengths can lead to lesser feelings of social exclusion, hence reducing aggression between people. Once inner peace and peace between people has been achieved, there is prospect for peace between nations because people will not feel the need to spite each other and will be compassionate with those around them with understanding and patience that they build when trying to achieve inner peace, for it is not a simple feat. Young people are also increasingly valuing the power and merit of education as it builds social solidarity. Education gives critical thinking skills to be able to detach prior discord between nations, as well as realise the causes of it in the first place, from the people of those nations.
As young people, taking this knowledge into our future of becoming leaders can lead to better peace-making decisions. For example, the conflict between India and Pakistan remains ongoing over land disputes and this can be solved by a generation of perceptive, patient and progressive young people who have been able to learn the catastrophes that war brings by studying the two prior world wars and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Valuing each other as equals and not as having better/worse capabilities will enable a plethora of positive outcomes, including better pay for workers, as well as better rights for marginalised groups. Hence, more positive media/news is shown and consequently better mental health for people across various ethnicities, genders etc., creating peace for different protected characteristics.
Overall, peace is a goal that young people aim for continuously. Holding grudges over historical battles only leads to more bloodshed and a continuous cycle of detest. This must be broken and can be done in ways that preserve the integrity of humanity being named after humans.