Peace defined is the dictionary provides us with a definition that implies ‘freedom from disturbance’. This does not necessarily mean an absence of war. And in a broader sense peace signifies the mutual coexistence between people, societies, cultures, and nations.
When I was growing up in a small house in a town in Uttar Pradesh, living with my mother who used to work day and night, I used to wait for her two-wheeler to pull up, through the window, each day. Peace was my family returning home from daily grinds. Peace was knowing we could rely on each other even in the absence of luxuries or sometimes even basic amenities on the table. To know we were accepted for our individual identity and our work.
As I grew older the concept of peace became wider and more significant. Peace meant liberation and sustenance. If you are accepted for your individual identity and respected for your work, along with mutual support, you are at peace.
The concept of peace and as its result, the ever-rising need for its existence during crisis situations, would never have surfaced if not for man’s natural state of warfare. The counter effect of ‘Ahinsa‘(non-violence) against ‘Hinsa’ (violence) and the practices of ‘Satyagraha’ are rudiments to the situations of extreme demonstrations of violence and segregation.
Over the last decade, peacebuilding has become paramount amongst people, cultures and a multilateral phenomenon. Nations build consensus on the lines of treaties and peaceful coexistence amongst multiple stakeholders. Even the great Gandhi would shift in his grave looking upon the dissemination of terror, destructions and prosaic extremist incidents all over the world.
Peace also signifies knowledge. Education and awareness can go a long way, as a means of acknowledging the current situations and understanding the clash of civilizations.
Peace to me is simply understanding societal, cultural, economic and even moral differences, acknowledging them and striving for acceptance of the same. Tolerance for people, empathy towards others, freedom over individual lives, educating ourselves about other cultures, practices, and faiths causing cautiousness that will eventually lead to sensitization of intercultural harmony between nation states. In short, the meaning of peace for me is:
C-Cultural and Social diversity
E- End to exclusion