Elsa Tiny Rajan from India was awarded the Second Prize in 2020 for her essay.
The Role of Young People in Building Peace
In the words of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, “Where there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home. When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the nation. When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world.”
Peace and harmony are of supreme importance to every citizen of the world, however, at the moment, it’s the most threatened. Young people can be the drivers of positive change at the national as well as the global level. Our youth with their immense potential can become young ambassadors of change in their nation. They should work towards promoting peace and countering various evils such as inequality, terrorism, massacres, intolerance, etc.
But, society’s prejudice about youth as victims or offenders of violence and rarely as peacemakers discourages them from bringing out their true strengths. Youth should not be alienated, but rather should be allowed to bring about dynamic changes in the world.
Mother Teresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” It has become essential to bridge the gap between cultures to create peace and harmony because disharmony arises from false impressions. Young people should be imparted with peace education as it significantly lessens the ethnocentric attitude of the people.
At the grass-roots level, young people must step forward to address various problems they face around them, thereby encouraging possible reconciliations. They may join hands with various Non-Governmental Organizations to work towards achieving global peace. Youth in conflict zones can discuss the challenges, and opportunities before them to bring about a change in their present situation. Youth, as well as young students, should discuss various differences and misconceptions that hamper peace in the world.
Peace and harmony are the inborn rights of every individual, and it is our obligation to safeguard it. Countries spend tons of money on wars, but hardly anything for the millions who are thrown out of their birth lands forcefully. The solution is in our hands, only we need to change ourselves and learn to live in peace and harmony. Let’s hopefully wait for the day when our future generations will bring peace to this world and teach new lessons of life that we never understood.
In the words of A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, “Where there is righteousness in the heart…” (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/a_p_j_abdul_kalam_717808)
Mother Teresa once said, “If we have no peace, it is because…” (https://www.scu.edu/mcae/architects-of-peace/Teresa/essay.html)