“The cornerstones on which peace is founded are, quite simply, respect and understanding for one another. Working together, we build peace by defending the dignity of every individual and community.
By upholding justice and the rule of law, and by striving for societies that are fair and offer opportunities for all, we overcome division and find reconciliation, so that the benefits of progress and prosperity may be multiplied and shared.”
Quoted above is a message from the British monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during the Commonwealth Day service in 2017.
The message echoes this year's UN’s Peace Day theme of respect, safety and dignity for all. It challenges us to look beyond the safety of our own homes and communities and reach out to those who are disadvantaged or less fortunate than us - the migrants, the refugees, the orphans, the aged and the homeless. What can we do to overcome discrimination and divisions and bring about respect, dignity, peace and understanding for all.
It also challenges us to be their voice in decision making forums that can influence governments, corporate bodies and business houses, urging them to pay attention to the living conditions of all people in their countries to ensure the benefits of progress and prosperity is multiplied and shared.
As advocates for peace and understanding in our respective PPSEAWA countries we are challenged to reflect peace in our lives daily. The American Philosopher, Wayne Dyer pointed out how we can achieve this when he said, “The freest people in the world are those who have senses of inner peace about themselves: They simply refuse to be swayed by the whims of others, and are quietly effective at running their own lives.”