For us to build a culture of peace, where we work to palliate structural violence - meaning, social manifestations such as, poverty, exclusion, marginalization, injustice or inequality - as well as physical violence, we must undertake a long, arduous and daily effort. The will to stop a war, and one-off gestures of solidarity are not enough. The Letter of Peace addressed to the UN points out in the introduction that “The task of seeking effective solutions to obtain peace is not easy”: The document is realistic and points out how difficult obtaining peace is, because it requires effort and work and is a task that must be undertaken by everyone.
Peace is built in all contexts and on all people-related levels: within oneself, between couples, in families, amongst friends, acquaintances, society in general, etc. If there is no peace on an individual level, then its hard for peace to exist on a global level. And, the reverse is true, if peace and the values that go with it are present and are developed on each of these levels, it will be easier to obtain global peace. The history of peace is created through the family, local and national history… it is one history made up of different histories.
As a result, in order for us to build a more peaceful society, we must work to foster peace education, a culture of peace, where the values that will allow us to build peace are present at the most basic level, constituting people’s very way of being. Peace should be lived out as routine because by being present at the very heart of people - their way of thinking, doing, being - it will be present on all their levels and in all their actions. It is a desired state and not only a concrete goal, that once achieved, implies the disappearance of the need to work for it; peace will have to be present on a daily basis, being developed in our day to day lives and on all levels.
Lastly, making peace into a way of being is not banal, as it influences the person’s way of thinking, doing and all their ways of expressing themselves. What is clear is that if the importance of working to build peace is well established in our way of being, through the education of values, our acts and daily thoughts will contribute to a more peaceful society.
EulÓlia Bori Ribas (Economist)
Spain - Barcelona