Milton Keynes Peace Pagoda
February is Peace & Conflict Resolution Month
Peace - Who Needs It?
I think world opinion now is that we ALL
do, every country in the world, every individual. Without Peace we can’t tackle poverty
effectively; without Peace girls, and boys, don’t receive the full education
they deserve; without Peace doctors and nurses struggle to deliver quality
care; without Peace an individual does not reach their full potential.
last the UN and other major players on the world stage realize that without
Peace and conflict resolution the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be fully
achieved, SO, how do we create Peace? By
talking, negotiating, compromising – skills that we as individuals could use in
our everyday lives when coping with the needs and demands of others.
Researchers tell us that the world is less
violent than in the past (watch Steven Pinker on TED) but as wars finish we
often see increased tensions between different communities. Mediators and negotiators are called in to
ease the tensions and allow people to talk in a safe environment. These professionals hone their communication
skills over many years – learning to talk compassionately rather than arguing
aggressively; they develop the ability to really listen to what others say and
to hear what they are feeling.
Whenever you read that Peace negotiations are taking place you can rely
on the fact that a number of skilled personnel are working hard to bring about
a Peace settlement that is acceptable to all, and as we know, that process
sometimes can take many months, even many years.
So, Rotary is right to be promoting Peace
at all levels of society; Rotary was ahead of its time in creating the Peace
centres at a number of universities in different parts of the world; British
Rotarians can be justifiably proud of the Peace Studies department at Bradford
University, which was a founding member of the Rotary Peace Centres network in
2002 and has been supporting many international Peace scholars, sponsored by
Rotary, with their studies ever since.
However difficult the concept of Peace is to
put into words we are now more aware than ever of its immense power. Every Rotarian can develop the skills to be a
competent Peace Maker in whatever social setting he/she may find themselves –
talk compassionately, really listen to what people say, observe the UN
International Day of Peace and Non Conflict (September 21st), support Peace scholars, and continue working
for the many excellent projects Rotary supports – good luck!
D1260 Peace Ambassador