By Daphne Fuller, RYT, MA, LPC – Minervas North Carolina
We all have a personal responsibility to peace. This peace begins with us. There is no one route there; just as healing is not linear, neither is peace. Building peace requires working collectively and individually. It would be beautiful to believe that peace would only embody positive energy, but with the facilitation of peace we may all become drained if we do not at times retreat to solitude while at other times surround ourselves with others who can lift us, seek to understand us, listen to us or when needed, allow us time to recharge. Because we come from different cultures, nationalities and families of origin we all bring something unique. Cultivating peace may mean meeting the hurt and confused where they are and nurturing them from a place of pain, from feeling unheard and from feeling a sense of despair. An article reported research that shows that when women are involved in peacebuilding the probability of violence ends by 24%.
To near the essence of peace uncomfortable situations have to be faced. Peace can be compared to that of a mother raising a child or being in a romantic relationship. It requires, patience, self-control, faithfulness, understanding and gentleness. The process will not always be exciting and pleasurable, that is unrealistic, and we perhaps set ourselves and others up for failure when we create this falsehood. There will be hiccups, that at times may have you thinking, “what in the world am I doing, I don’t know what I am doing, I am tired and I don’t feel like doing this.” When we begin to feel this way we must remind ourselves that this cause, this charge has chosen us, we have not chosen it.
Although we as women may not always agree, it is vital that we pledge to listen to hear and to understand one another, so that we may then go back to our villages to share and educate and go outside our villages with a more clear lens, compassion and the ability to continue making strides towards peace. There are different types of peace coined by John Galtung as positive and negative peace. He defines positive peace as a transformative and creative action that changes societal structures for the means of social justice and negative peace as conflict management and resolution to keep things calm and as they are. There is a time for both.
A speech by Yara Shahidi can be related to the movement of women as peacemakers and builders and states, “Women have continued to march forward to make space for future generations. These-space makers are the reasons we can be in rooms like this together. Space-makers like Joan of Arc, Angela Davis and Marsha P Johnson, Anne Frank and Audra Lord. This list goes on and on of these space-makers and I just have to say thank you to them. It is their stories that serve as a constant inspiration and reminder of where we come from. When we ground ourselves in the history of the fierce females before us and the fierce females around us who have set precedence for our potential because it is their story that serve as a constant inspiration and as a reminder of where I have come from.” For this reason and the reason of building and maintaining a more loving, conscious and peaceful world is enough.