Thank you for taking the time to review this chapter and learn about the conflicts in our world, as well as the peace processes developed worldwide in an attempt to minimize them. I hope that you have enjoyed reading the previous chapters, and that the information you have gleaned from those readings has made you even more excited to create change in the world. This chapter about peace processes will show you how to implement that information and put it into action, to use your knowledge in order to help create a more peaceful world.
The idea of peace is one that has driven humanity for centuries. Peace and conflict are the constant tug-of-war that societies endure, cycling from peaceful golden ages to dark ages of war and violence. Peace itself has become an exceptionally broad concept, connected with much of the good in humanity including love, serenity, success, and intellect. Just as every person has his or her own definition of peace, every culture does, as well. This can make peace diplomacy and negotiations very difficult, especially when there are a plethora of issues for groups of people to disagree on, ranging from female political participation to the ownership of land. Conflict and disputes, both small and large, constantly flare up at personal, local, national, and international levels.
It can be emotionally difficult to see pictures of children holding rifles and videos of burning cities when turning on the news, or to see headlines that include the words “bloodshed,” “conflict,” and “militants” when opening a newspaper or turning on your computer. However, it is important to remember that this world is not filled solely with despair. Throughout history, there have been times when the need for peace has become so strong that even the most violent of groups have worked towards it. Peace processes are long and tedious, but they are the most valuable of diplomatic processes that we, as members of humanity, undertake.
You may think that there is nothing you, a teenager, could ever do to try and extinguish the flames of violence. However, that is not true. If you are inspired by something you read in the WorldLink Reader, tell your friends about it. Tell your parents, grandparents, siblings, and teachers. Post your thoughts on Facebook, tweet about it, blog about it. The most important action that you can take is to educate those around you about the widespread injustices in our world. If nothing else, take from this Reader the idea that one person has the ability to make a significant difference. You have been given the most powerful tool – education. Now go and make use of it.
Lily Greenberg Call, San Diego Jewish Academy
WorldLink 2013 Summer Intern