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“Peace is in the future I want to create”
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“Peace is in the future I want to create”

We don’t know the future. We don’t know what will happen in one hour, tomorrow, or next year, writes Isah Babayo, 28, a Correspondent from Gombe in Nigeria, but that uncertainty does not stop us striving for the future we want to create.

Even if you have something planned, you don’t know if you will be able to carry it out. You might be involved in some kind of disaster, or on the other hand, you might have some sudden great success. For better or worse, the future stretches out with infinite possibilities. Without a doubt, all of us would like to create a ‘good future.’ Howe, then, do we go about creating this ‘good future’?

Naturally, each person has a different definition of happiness. For some people, happiness might mean economic wealth, while for others it might mean a high standard of public safety. But for poor and disadvantaged people, it seems that happiness might simply mean being able to go on living at a basic level. In that case, the future will likely be no different from the present. At present we can say that the world is filled with conflict, poverty, hunger, discrimination, and environmental destruction. Under these conditions, even if some people are happy, others may not be happy.

The future that I hope for is a future with no war, no conflict, where everyone can spend their days with a beautiful smile. My own daily life is very peaceful and happy with other people. Every day, I like to see different religions and tribes living with no war or conflict. I learned that today our society has become like a secretariat of war and conflict. Every day people are frightened of bombs falling on them. They can’t get enough to eat; they can’t get medical treatment.

Equally, I learned that war takes away everything, it resolves nothing, and it destroys lives and breaks families apart. Nothing good comes of war. It only leaves wounds of sadness and hatred in people’s hearts. Homes are destroyed, towns are left in chaos, and plants cannot grow in the devastated land for a whole generation. Children who lost their mothers and fathers are forced to live on their own. The children who are the victims of Boko Haram in North east Nigeria are not an exception.

It is very sad that even though we are all human beings and were born on the same earth, our lives are so different depending on where we live. Why do wars take place? When I thought about my state, the abducted school children, the many important places being destroyed, and the many family members being separated, I felt like crying. Just thinking about it is terrible, and so, in the future, I want to do away with the tragedy of war. I believe that we absolutely can have a future without war. I want people to realise as soon as possible that hurting each other will not bring us happiness.

Youths can play an active role in fostering peace by forming new programmes of peace missionaries and NGOs to network at the grassroots, concentrating on value education and spiritual renewal among children. In the area of ethnic development, the youths of different ethnic groups can forge links between cultural minorities and popularised ones. They can share values, and share the culture and tradition handed down from generations to generations.

Youths working on political development to end violence and foster peace can engage in or join political awareness-building. They can push for reform in bureaucracy to ensure good governance, accountability, transparency and citizenry participation.

At the international scene, the youths can become a peace ambassador for their respective countries by promoting exchange programmes in education, culture, science and technology and sport. They can assist with tourism and business promotion. They can help the world pursue and maintain peace among diverse cultures.

In addition, youth need skills to deal with conflict and create a community that lives by a new stand of non-violence and multicultural appreciation. This, however, must be done with the present crop of people, who we have termed as the leaders of yesterday, creating the necessary chance to give opportunity for the youths to act with their enthusiasm.

To realise ‘the future we want,’ we need to create a society where all people can think, “I am happy”, a society where we can work together to make a brighter future for everyone on earth, even for those who have given up hope for their society and environment. To make this a reality, each and every person needs to be aware of their ‘right to the pursuit of happiness,’ which our predecessors worked hard to obtain.

Reach me on Twitter @isahguru

photo credit: marinadelcastell Whisper of the letters via photopin (license)

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About me: I am a final year student in Educational Administration and Planning at Federal University, Nigeria, and essayist devoted to fiction and non-fiction essays. I am a team leader with Change for Better Life and on the African Union Students’ Council. I’ve won several awards for my writing, including an award in the 2016 Essay competition by the Royal Commonwealth Society andCambridge University Press. I’m presently working towards publishing a book and have keen interest in all aspects of journalism.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/

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