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"The role of youth in creating world peace"
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"The role of youth in creating world peace"

Brian Dan MigowePeace is more than the absence of war, argues Brian Dan Migowe, 23, a Correspondent from Kenya, who says youth have the dreams, the social media and the influence to promote peace and make a positive change in the world.

I believe in the peace that comes from sought-after unity.

This is not to say that differences need to be eliminated, or even that they should be put aside. Differences are what make people unique. However, seeking unity is what brings peace. It means looking for the things we have in common, the shared ground, the similarities that create bonds. It is only when all people can do this that any sort of peace can occur.

I believe in youth and its dreams. When a little boy told me that his toy plane pierced the sound barrier and flew to the moon, I believed him. When a little girl assured me that a pat of mud in a broken dish was a delicious pudding, I knew it was true. When those little dreamers attain mature stature, some creative genius will begin to fashion their dreams into reality—in a test tube or a blast furnace, in a Bill of Rights or a poem, in the majestic measures of a symphony. Suddenly the world starts to experience positive changes.

Civilization is the sum of human dreams. It is a palimpsest of new chapters over old, telling of man’s painful crawl up through the ages. The beautiful Nike of Samothrace was embedded in a rough ashlar until a dreamer’s chisel brought her to light. The soaring towers and swinging cables of a great bridge blossomed out of dreams. There is dreamery in the powered marvel that harvests the fields, so that sweating gleaners may stand and look up.

A dream came true when earth-bound man loosed his bonds and soared into the mysterious blue. Because of dreams, a voice can circle the earth in a few minutes. How many times has man been halted at a crossroad, challenged to choose the right way or sink back into dreamless oblivion to survive by instinct only? How many times have dreamers found the straight road?

Growing up in Kenya, experience has taught me that peace is man’s creation. In the wake of the post-election violence in my country, a distinctive observation could be made. The violence was being fuelled by a mob of bitter youths engaging the police in street battles while on the other hand, a well-organized team of youthful musicians, lawyers, doctors and student leaders were busy creating peaceful dialogue platforms with their political leaders. And true to this, only one had a success story.

After a month of violence, the country was bleeding, the economy was slowly sinking into its deepest levels and soon everybody appreciated the peace that existed before. Schools had been closed, social amenities were unavailable. No one seemed to benefit from this. Why am I making a reference to this? Because youth of today make the greatest populations in any country and with every step towards development, democracy and industrialization, they play a crucial role.

More than ever, youths from different continents with different cultures converge in workshops and conferences for discussions that will shape their future. The peace we seek is rightful and with noble reasons, but it is time the younger generations got involved. In an age of online chat, online shopping, and even online school, the users of these platforms carry with them a mandate to inspire and spread positive change.

It pains me to know that living in a society consumed by violence and hatred, when most people hear the word “peace” images of warfare flood their minds. This is understandable. Even the dictionary associates peace with war, defining it as “the normal, non-warring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world”. And I admit that I used to think the exact same way… until I realized what peace means to me. I once lost it in violence and regained it, but that does not mean peace is the end of war.

In my own life, I’ve put great stock in personal responsibility. But I’ve also come to believe that there are moments when one must rely upon the good faith and judgment of others. So while each of us faces—at one time or another—the prospect of driving alone down a dark road, what we must learn is that the approaching light may not be a threat, but a shared moment of trust.

Trust your friend, your neighbor, your teacher and your work colleagues that in whatever endeavors they seek, they will act in the same manner that brings peace to all. My college mates amaze me; probably law school is the place to be taught the contrast of peace and conflict. Everybody seems to acknowledge the purpose of the Bill of Rights. It begets peace, it controls the many youths in my country. For youth, in its faith, will always dream. This I believe.

photo credit: MTSOfan via photopin cc

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About me: I am a law student with a passion for writing and youth advocacy. I observe people, nature, the environment and daily life and am enthusiastic about sharing them on pen and paper.

I am an open-minded individual who acknowledges the diversity of the world’s population. Sometimes I am awed by how life plays out, but in writing I make the story as I want it. My hobbies are swimming and indoor games.

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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/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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