The idea of a peaceful world is amazing. A world where there’s no fights, no hatred, just love, and good vibes. While this may not be realistic, we as young people can do a lot to make the world a better and more peaceful place.
First, we have to understand what peace really is. Depending on the context, peace can mean different things to different people. For a mother, it may be her child’s smile. For you, it may be your favorite song. For some other people, it may be an opportunity to create an impact. I believe the first and most important thing to achieve is peace of mind.
According to Remez Sasson, “Peace of mind is a state of mental and emotional calmness, with no worries, fears or stress.”
Today, a lot of young people suffer from depression, anxiety, or stress. Anxiety can be enhanced by social media, increased financial obligations, the current context of the world, thoughts about our future, etc. However, you should never forget that you have total control over your mind, your thoughts, your actions, and your inactions. When you accept this, you become in control of your response to situations, instead of letting them control you.
In the news, there’s almost always conflict. It could be bombings, war, domestic violence, killings, police brutality, racism, etc. It gets overwhelming and a lot of time, we want to do something about it.
Here are little steps you can take to work towards peace:
1. Educate Yourself On How To Be Inclusive:
Most times, you may think that you’re an inclusive and tolerant person, but with proper introspection and reflection, you may notice that you have some cultural conditioning that you need to dismantle (for example, you might be a feminist, but there’s still some misogyny you need to deprogram in your brain).
We have to understand that there’s beauty in variety. Wherever we find ourselves, we should make conscious efforts to remove bias that affects people that are not of the same culture, tribe, religion, gender, status, race, etc. Do not make fun of people that sound, look, or dress differently. Be welcoming of other opinions. When we do this, we promote inclusivity and make people understand that there’s no need for prejudice.
2. Make kindness your non-negotiable:
We feel unnecessary pressure every day to be the smartest, or the most interesting, or the nicest looking person in the room. Why not try to be the kindest person in the room? Showing kindness to others makes them feel better.
We don’t know what people are going through, the best thing to be is to be kind. Remember the last time a complete stranger offered you some help or gave you a wholesome smile. How did it feel? Now, when we make conscious efforts to show kindness to the next person, the world becomes a more peaceful place, starting from you.
3. Good listeners are extremely rare, are you one of them?
When other people talk, listen. Don’t just wait to have your own say. Try to listen and understand their views. There are over 7 billion people in the world today. We were raised differently, in different environments, by different types of people. We have also had different experiences in life. So wherever you find yourself, do not expect that others share the same thought with you. Listen to them, understand them, and if you feel their reasoning is flawed, give them another perspective.
4. Start the conversation:
We as young people need to start the conversation about hard topics with our friends, family, social media network, etc. What is it that bothers you? What ill in the society makes you cringe? Are you concerned about the glaring inequality at your workplace? Are you worried about the little attention that mental health gets? Is it the fact that kindness is now a costly commodity?
Say something, start something. Ask that question that is sitting in your heart. Ask people for their opinions on different topics, you’ll be able to understand the reality of other people. Be honest in your approach. When we speak up, we work towards a peaceful society, and change happens. It doesn’t matter how little that change may seem to you. What matters is that you have added your voice to a noble cause.
Always remember ‘IT STARTS WITH YOU’.
5. Prioritize self-care:
In the midst of everything, you should make sure that you’re taking care of you. You have to be kind to yourself, visit parks, plant trees, be grateful for little things, be optimistic, sing songs, and dance! For me, dancing in the shower, practicing meditation, and breathing exercises are great ways to relieve stress. You should try that sometime!
When we achieve a level of inner peace, it becomes easier to strive for a peaceful society.
The achievement of a peaceful world is up to us. We shouldn’t sit and wait, we can start something. We have to make conscious efforts every day in our little way. We have to learn to love ourselves so that we can radiate that love to the outside world. I hope you strive for peace today and every other day. Now I ask, what do you do for peace in your own little way?13