What is Peace?
When a hundred men stand together, each of them loses his mind and gets another one. Friedrich Nietzsche.
From time to time we congregate and suggest so many meanings about peace. All we need is a single definition of peace so that we can all appreciate a common reference. Tolstoy once told a palpable of a man who gazed at the sun trying to understand the source of its light. After a long time and without an answer to his burning desire to know, he ended up losing his sight from staring at the rays of the sun. In his blindness he became convinced that the sun did not actually exist. What he needed was to appreciate the value the sun had in his life. Likewise,the young people of this world can't afford to look at peace in this tragic sense. Just like the sun is not merely a ray of light for each of us, in our pursuit to understand peace never shall we allow pride to divide us into clinging to strands and pieces of peace. We all intend to see peace as it is: a state of endless freedom of conscience riding in unguided bliss.
Perhaps the phenomena of peace is an inert conscience waiting to be unlocked the moment we reverse the outlook we have taken about our lives. The peace we discern is no different from that dream that you forget the moment you wake up, for how many times do you seek to know peace though you felt you held it before you a moment ago? Or maybe peace is like a memory that emerges from our childhood and then disappears, like the tip of an iceberg. We seek to get the full picture but it is lost to us forever.
Peace lies deep within us. If we can squeeze and squeeze our hopes and dreams for it am sure it will drip out of us, and ooze and it will, like ointment oil being extracted to anoint our lives. Its preciousness thus lies in a perception that it is a reality. Neither gold, diamonds, nor beautiful pearls can take the abstract place peace has in our hearts. Am yet to see gold itself, and praise it in my own way that maybe the world will capture my words in a clichéd manner. On the same note, I have heard it reported, as if by orality from the ancient world, regarding the worth of diamonds. I hear some are blue. And that the carat is the measure of its value. To me this is fairy folktale, any likelihood that I will ever toy with real diamonds in my fingers is quite far fetched. What of pearls? A strange word in my mind, I can only whisper it because it is foreign to me. Worse still it is just plain a word without any image attached to it. Yet, when I come to peace, I feel it in my bones. I can even store it in my toes! And it will give me the strength to walk on foot to every corner of my planet. I feel I can access peace, and more importantly share its abundance wherever I go. What then is to be done is ask other people to discover it in themselves. Personally, the wildest imaginations, the craziest fantasies, the most abundant happiness, joy beyond measure, strength that the entire gemstone depository of the world at my feet would never inspire, is in me ever since I started to turn the key of unconsciousness towards consciousness. That is all we need.
What we need to do is to sit down and remind ourselves how peace can best be used to achieve the goals we set for our lives. In the real world war is peace. But we want to change this ideology. The ideology that maybe change is hard to come by, that in any case peace does not pop up but by the wielding of a weapon. A seriously ill world that has conferred into either listening to the disgusting resonance of a bomb or gazing at a savage trajectory of a stone aimed at another. A crude world measure by measure.
Nevertheless, to initiate a different outlook, my generation is designing a conventional weapon that partly seeks to restore the sanity of man, and specifically bring about sustainable coexistence. This weapon is peace. To arm every one we have told each other in many peculiar ways that peace starts with me. The I. Through peace walks, peace forums, cleanups, health awareness campaigns, tree planting, public meetings, blood donation exercises...the code of the new world order is being wired. We are a brave new world of young people. What we have not said out loud is that which takes place beneath that soul, that great place in you where the grandest thoughts grace, where the beginnings of all human actions first had their infancy. Where evil and weird cravings fleet and mingle with noble and holy reflections. Where the concepts of death and life permeate in a struggle for a meaning. And where peace is assured an elevated rung That knowledge is the trigger we are yet to pull and moot a bloodless coup d'etat.
In our minds lies the greatest deeds then we need to be honest to ourselves, our thoughts, by having conversations with ourselves. The moment our thoughts and feelings about peace become our convictions, and then we develop a philosophy in the kind of life we would like to see others live beginning by the way we live it ourselves, and then defend the course of our spirits by overcoming first our selfish inner motives, then the peace we talk about, that we so much seek day and night, would be breath out of our nostrils. Our lips will utter words that would melt ice with their warmth. Our presence would lower barriers, as high as the Everest, tear apart differences as dividing as the iron curtain was. Our footprints will leave a divine path, for men of this world to tread on, for the future humanity to enshrine. Our voices will ring out and merge with the wind and travel like no speech ever traveled. Our message will know no creed, no tribe, no nation. Our goal will reach bitter foes and they both in their different ways feel the same and be united in the truth about a quiet world. A paradise.
The inner soul laid out to fill the entire universe is all we can give, and indeed we are set to mingle our souls into a singular motion like one flow of hot lava spilling out of the earth, our earth. A new world formed. A new system of peace. A new landscape breath taking in its character of harmony love and pure respect for humanity. Our souls like waterfalls should give out one continuous symphony whose creation is artless, creative-less and yet amazing. A letting go the weight and disharmony in the world. If we let go corruption, violence, weapons, pollution, selfishness, hatred...we shall surely hear that sweet melody of a waterfall in every door front. The moment we allow the oil of peace to be poured on us we shall surely see that which makes the world sick and stink desolately hang on a breaking string. We shall see. And when that time comes, for surely it should come, because I have a picture of it in mind: glittering eyes, a bright face, purity all around-a multitude of people looking similar yet characteristically distinct, each with a contented smile gazing in one direction at something.
Friday November, 16th 2012. George Sande Momanyi
Masinde Muliro University