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For world peace, let us love our families

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Fri, Sept 21, 2012

Today, Friday September 21 is World Peace Day.Searchlight joins with the National Commission on Crime Prevention, the Girl Guides Association and the Human Rights Association in calling on all Vincentians to take some time today, to reflect on the destructive nature of conflict in our homes, communities, nation and world, and what we each can do to promote peace.{{more}}

The messages published each year on the occasion of World Peace Day, vary very little from year to year. They are filled with calls for peace in the world, an end to armed conflict, and ceasefires, both personal and political. The effect of these messages is debatable.

However, calls for peace on a global scale by our world leaders very often seem hypocritical, even as there are armed conflicts in so many parts of the world – Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. These wars take the lives of not just armed forces, but innocent civilians, including children. What a tragic waste of human life! The wars are a drain on productivity and suck the financial resources of those involved, which has a resultant negative impact on the world economy.

But lest we think that large-scale threats to peace are far removed from our sunny shores, we need to think again. Our regional law enforcement authorities spend much of their limited resources battling the trafficking in illegal drugs and firearms, activities which threaten the peace, security and stability of our region. We as individuals cannot say that we want peace in the region and the world, while at the same time, we give tacit approval or turn a blind eye to those in our communities who are engaged insuch activities.

The proliferation of weapons in our communities is very closely linked to the drugs trade, and is at heart of many of the wanton murders taking place in our region. The thing is, the weapons which end up on our shores are made by the same handful of manufacturers in the developed world who make huge profits producing the weapons which fuel the global conflicts. It seems therefore, that much of the responsibility for disarming the world rests with these same developed nations.

Much of the responsibility, but not all. What we, in our tiny corners do, also contributes to how we relate to each other in the global village in which we live. We still have control over our homes, and as the late Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Theresa pointed out many years ago, the home is where it all begins. When asked what one could do to promote world peace, she advised that we should go home and love our families. Wiser words have never been said.

Our attitudes to others, our values, our acceptance of differences of opinion and beliefs, the way we deal with the challenges life will inevitably bring, all in some way, depend on our earlyexposure and observation of how the adults around us behave. So in the interest of world peace, let us not only say we love our families, but demonstrate it.

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