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By Miss Jiya


Peace has meant different things to me at different stages of my life. As a child, ‘peace’ meant not to be mean, not to hurt people; to love my family and friends; and to care and share. As a pre-teenager, I believed it to mean ‘world’ peace. As I matured, I realized the importance of self or inner peace and I bloomed a little. Being peaceful within myself is as important as bringing it to others. A teenager now, I think of peace as a perfect relation between me and the world. It is an idea bigger than me generated within me.  

Peace, to me, at home is a wish that my divorced parents get together. In my city, country as anywhere, there is diversity of culture, language, religion, disparity of development and income which cause problems. Yet we try to live peacefully as a country and hope the same for the world.  Peace is coexistence as citizens of one world - not just Indian or Pakistani, Chinese or Japanese, Arab or Israeli, American or African; Hindu or Muslim, Christian or Jew; black or white. Peace is one colour. Peace is one God. Peace is one world. Peace is Harmony. The Beatles have sung this perfectly -“All we are same, give peace a chance.”  

Even one small act of kindness can trigger off a series of spontaneous incidents to actually make the world a better place to live in. This is what I feel…peace starts from a person, develops due to the efforts of a person, and eventually affects the person. It grows from one to many and eventually everybody. 

My experiences at ‘Model United Nations’ (MUN) in school made me understand the reality of human conflicts that prevent our world from becoming a peaceful place. Today’s world is ravaged with strife everywhere. It is scarred with a history of war and bloodshed. Peace is possible if WE can make the world what Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, and Nelson Mandela wanted it to be - free of violence with justice for all and universal brotherhood. Mahatma Gandhi said, “An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind.”  Wars are futile attempts at victory; no one can ever gain out of war. Benjamin Franklin said, “There never was a good war or a bad peace.”  

Peace is possible only if we strive for compassion and discussion for every possible situation. To me, Peace equates MC2  -  ‘M’ for moderation and ‘C’ for compassion.    

We can’t see eye to eye or need to agree on everything. But we need to be open to other people; their views, ideals, aspirations and wants. If we can respect and understand their view points, we can be able to correct or compromise our stands. Indira Gandhi said, “You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist”. To reconcile, to accept and tolerate is the best way to establish peace.  

I am born free and want to live free to grow at my own will and expression. If people are not allowed freedom to express, think and live freely, they are suppressed or enslaved. This causes conflict and people will revolt against the forces oppressing them. Where there is freedom there will be peace.   

I totally believe that we are the gen-next who need to change the future. The future is now. As the today of tomorrow, we don’t want to make the same mistakes as in the past. Our generation wants to break away, start afresh, turn a new leaf and begin a new chapter o peace in the history of our world.  

I can make a difference to make the world a better place to live in. Peace is not to be questioned, it is the ultimate answer.



Growing on Seeds of Peace

By Miss Jiya

I have attended different camps. At medical camps, I have seen how diverse people get together selflessly to help ailing people and reassuring them, it humbled me. At adventure camps, I learnt a way of living, away from the safety of my home with new groups, building on trust and team work, it shaped me. On my treks deep into the Himalayas, I learnt to live in raw natural surroundings, it strengthened me.  

 Seeds of Peace offers a totally new chance for experiencing an idea that is far bigger than me. It is a big challenge to think I can contribute in my small little way to ‘peace’, a concept only understood by me in a very small context.  

I will be meeting unknown people from places straight from my history and geography books. That seems very exciting but makes me unsure on questions like - how they look, what they think of me or where I come from and how will they react to me.  Would they also feel likewise?

 I have made lot of friends but this would be different. I tell myself that meeting them at the Seeds of Peace Program should be an amazing experience. The sheer variety of names, places and their mannerisms would be overwhelming. So what? After all, they are no different from me!  William Shakespeare’s Shylock in ‘Merchants of Venice’ says ‘do not they have eyes, do not they have hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections and passions? … if pricked, do they not bleed, if tickled do they not laugh .. if they are like you in the rest, they will resemble you in that? It is very reassuring.  

I will try to find a common base with them, by understanding what they think or doubt aspire or fear. Spending time together will bring us much closer to answer most questions. Many fears, doubts, prejudices and stereotypes should get cleared face to face. I would know why these notions were carried or mistaken, first hand. I am sure then I can then convince others back home how much we have in common to share. This understanding can build trust and respect, the first steps to forge friendship and peace.  

Experiencing and sharing will bridge gaps between ethnicity and religious faith different from mine. The tete-a-tete will create awareness and healthy respect for accepting these differences.  

It will be a challenge to work and play as a team and have spirited discussions. To make fair judgment on many complicated contentious issues and try to work out ideas as possible solutions will test our wits and communication skills to the limit. I would surely develop deeper personal and intellectual abilities early in life.

 I want to be a professional and be good at what I do.  The opportunity at Seeds of Peace Program would make me a person who stands for global enterprise. Together as fellow seeds, we can make a collective voice that opens doors and works towards higher goals with firm faith in peace and ‘united we stand’ principle.

 I see myself as a seed of peace and the Seeds of Peace program will help me grow on to develop into a tree deep rooted, standing firm and tall for peace.

  • Forges self discovery, confidence, teamwork, communication, and group process skills, cooperation, forge stronger bond, negotiation techniques
  • Build relationships based on honesty and respect
  • Express thoughts and feelings
  • Development personally and intellectually
  • Deeper understanding and building of compassion for other
  • Realizing that the enemy has a face
  • Create opportunities
  • Expand capacity for critical reflection.
  • Find solutions for problems
  • Get a chance to learn about each others’ religions first hand
  • Understand the enemy’s point of view
  • Learn leadership and facilitation skills
  • Bridge cultural gaps
  • Create positive feelings for other communities
  • Tolerate
  • Better to interpret and analyse
  • Stay connected
  • Attempt to reconcile
  • Open new channels of diplomacy
  • Erode stereotypes and prejudices and reduce misunderstandings
  • Developing and empowering voice of the youth
  • Respect themselves and others
  • Reconstruct through peace education
  • Conflict management skills
  • Dissolve fears against enemy
  • Open the eyes and break free; clear minds and let the fresh air of friendship blow in
  • Unite to form a common voice
  • Become firm in my beliefs



What Do You Hope To Achieve Out Of  This Participation?

By Jehan Lalkaka

 Human beings around the world are the same. It does not matter where you come from or what the colour of your skin is. They laugh and cry over the same things, love in the same manner and have the same aspirations and hopes. There is no difference in what makes a person happy or sad, whichever part of the globe they may call home. Unfortunately, man made borders have been created separating people for political and economic reasons. Language or religion should not be a dividing factor but unfortunately in reality it is.  

If you have a Pakistani and an Indian in a room, you will not be able to tell one from the other. After all we are all from the same family. By participating in the Seeds of Peace program, I hope to learn and see that there are really no  barriers that exist between us and that people all over the world are  very warm, friendly and hospitable. This wonderful program would give me the opportunity to meet other people with whom one can discuss so many global issues big and small that affect all of us and at the same time have fun. I hope to see that we have more similarities rather than differences with our neighbours. Living together in a friendly environment will give me an opportunity to appreciate that we are all one. Isn’t it strange that I have friends in the US, UK, Finland and Australia but none from Pakistan or Bangladesh which are next door?

 I truly believe that the more we interact, the less chances there are of another war taking place. We as a people have become closer to our neighbours ever since the two countries resumed their cricketing ties and opened our borders to bus and train routes. Love of the game binds us as nothing else can and reaching out has created new bonds.

 Bonds forged and friendships created at an international gathering such as this are very strong and last a lifetime. No amount of enmity or bitterness between countries can affect this. I believe that when we respect one another and are able to communicate openly, only good can come out of it. I am committed to listening, discussing and learning from the other participants at the camp and then sharing my experiences with my friends back home. 

Life is an ongoing struggle especially for people who have experienced conflict first hand. Difficulties will always arise and life is sometimes just not fair. But only by meeting people, understanding our differences and keeping channels of communication open, I believe that each one of us can make a difference. People want miracles and often they speak about it without doing anything themselves. We have the power to produce a miracle if we set our hearts and our minds to it - this is my commitment.  

I know that I will gain lots of experience, great memories, laughs and wonderful friends from the Seeds of Peace program. It is said that you learn the most about your country when you are away from it. This is so true especially in the environment of an international camp where you are grilled with questions about your country, culture and lifestyle.  

Wars have been fought in the past and nothing has been achieved. Now it is time to forget the past and forge new friendships and create a new, happy peaceful and prosperous world for all.



What Does Peace Mean To You?

- Jehan Lalkaka 

To me, peace and harmony go together. We are all a part of the human race - no Hindus, no Muslims, no wars, no discrimination. If people could just give peace a chance, it would make a world of difference. It would change mindsets and negative thoughts of people. If each and every country were to get together and create a strong bond, work together in a positive way, the world would be a much better place to live in. The production of nuclear weapons would halt which would provide us with a safer environment.  

India spends a mind boggling Rs. 83,000 crores which is over $2000 billion each year on defence, maintaining an army and protecting our borders. If this amount could be reduced and spent instead on our people and infrastructure, wouldn’t it reduce the level of poverty in our country? Young soldiers who are in the prime of their lives are put through hell during a war. Families are broken and children experience utter devastation when they lose a parent. Often soldiers return from war with horrific injuries and and enormous psychological damage as well. Is the price of war worth it? Wouldn’t it be much nicer if everyone lived in peace and harmony?  

Elders could teach the youth the value of peace - how important it is to respect everyone and everything. This would be a good start for the pursuit of peace. The world would be a safer place for generations to come. And if we want to spread peace, we must act fast - already enough time has been wasted.  The world could unite and live as one; we could fight a major climate crisis, global warming and create a fresh, green environment for all.  

People like Gandhiji, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela have set an example by putting their lives on the line in order to gain peace and fight injustice in a nonviolent way. And they have succeeded. All three went to jail, faced racial abuse and were even beaten. But they never reacted violently. They all had the same dream - to achieve peace.They had faith and confidence in themselves and knew what they were doing. They never gave up, never fell meekly. They had the courage of their conviction and now they are legends. We must follow in their footsteps.  

In John Lennon’s song “Imagine”, he sings about what we should do to create a peaceful, war-free environment. As Gandhiji said “you must be the change you wish to see in the world”. This is our world - we only have one and the only people who can make a difference is us. The faster we understand this and work towards this the better it would be for all. Peace is a process and a way of life. Peace is the way we act and the way we treat people. With the electronic media and communication techniques, we have been able to create a global neighbourhood. It is now time for us to create a global brotherhood.






  When one thinks about peace, one imagines green grass, blooming flowers, pollution-free skies with milky coloured doves swooping in ones mind’s eye. When one thinks about peace, one smiles. Every time we take the time to smile, we relax our mind and body. But it is not very easy to smile as there is so much suffering in this world. We human beings start wars, destroy the environment, and steal from others because we lack understanding. Every act has both a cause and an effect. Our cause does not always get its desired effect and this makes us angry. That is not the aim of peace, to make people angry. Peace is to spread hope that our war-flung world will not be destroyed, it is to encourage love between people who are like chalk and cheese; it is to spread joy and happiness about simply being alive.  

  It would be so easy if we could just blame Pandora for all our troubles and fears. After all it was her curiosity that opened the box which contained sickness, fear, worries, phobias, etc. but in the end we have to own up to ourselves that it is our fault. We all want our life to be smooth. We all also want to know what will happen to us in the future. Every man has a destined journey through life. Every journey has a flow that cannot be changed even though events come close enough to modify things. The lack of knowledge of all these joys and sorrows, triumphs and disasters, that await us, make life smooth. If we were to know all the changes in our fortune, life would be full of hopes and fears, joy and disappointment to allow us a single hour of true tranquility. We can not fight fate. Whatever happens, happens. We have to learn how to deal with it. Even though sometimes we feel like birds with broken wings, dread our present and envy our past. But that’s when wisdom takes control and we learn to face the good, the bad and just breathe. We learn to put our faith in hope and not worry. Having faith will lead to peace in the world because if we believe in ourselves we can change the whole world. For example, a man was lying on his death bed. In his childhood he dreamed of creating peace in the world. In his youth, he realized that was too big a job for him to do thus he focused on having peace in his country. In his middle ages, he thought that, that too was enormous so he decided to generate peace in his family. Now, on his death bed, he realized that if he only had peace from within and believed in himself, he could have created peace in his family which could have lead to peace in his country and possibly to peace in the world. This shows us that by believing in ourselves, we can cross oceans, move mountains, and create things so magnificent that we leave everyone astounded. 

  Peace also means to not let other people’s opinions affect us. In order not to react to people who think that they are bigger than us, we should act like still water and not like fizzy soda. This means that whatever they say should not distress us because that may lead to a fight. We can not let other people ruin our day. If we do, then even if life shakes up a bit, the pressure builds and we suddenly explode. Like water, we should remain the same whether we are shaken or pressured. We would be calm, cool and in control of the situation. If all men are equal, then no one has the right to judge us except our selves.

  Plenty of times we wonder why we are here, why are we living, and what are we supposed to do. I believe that the way George Eliot, the author, has answered this question brilliantly: “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”





 A seed is the beginning of life, the first stage in a plant’s life. Without the seed, the plant would not grow, as the seed begins the long journey of the plant.  

 Peace is a state of harmony where there is no enmity. "Peace" is used to describe a world without violence or conflict. Peace is also a state of quiet or tranquility, an absence of disturbance and agitation. Peace is the freedom from strife, or the stillness and the serenity that we feel.  

 Seeds of Peace is dedicated to empowering young leaders from countries in conflict with skills required to improve understanding and coexistence between these countries. Seeds of Peace will teach children like me how to overcome the most difficult task for a person, that is neither a physical triumph nor an academic accomplishment but to give love in return for hatred. I want to learn how to see the humane face of enemies, to realise that somebody loves the person that I do not get along with. Seeds of Peace will help me understand this better. I want to be able to communicate better with other people of other countries. 

 As the old saying goes “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” I want to learn how to do this, how to grasp other people’s thoughts and feelings and I feel that Seeds of Peace will help me in doing this. Seeds of Peace will teach me that even if we disagree on things, we can still understand each others’ opinions and points of view. I believe Seeds of Peace will give me hope that one day we will be able to live in peace - an impartial peace based on the aspect of dignity, respect, basic human rights and values for everybody in this vast world. 

 People are not really that different from each other. We all are the same from the inside with the same desires and wants but we have different characteristics that differentiate us from each other. Our souls are interconnected as we are one world, one nation. It is like chocolate. There are thousands of chocolate companies around the world producing chocolate. The actual chocolate tastes the same but each of them has a different size, shape, name and wrapper. I believe Seeds of Peace is to create bonds between these different people, to iron out misunderstandings about their countries, to make everyone realise that no one is really different form each other, to make one big chocolate bar containing different flavours. No one wants war, except people who do not realise the importance of life. These people do not realise that no one wins in the game of life.  

 I believe Seeds of Peace is to keep friendships alive, even in times of war. Seeds of Peace will help me remain hopeful about peace and the future. It will teach me how to think on my own, to erase all the prejudices in my head and to look at the world through a clear pair of eyes, without any hatred or fear. Seeds of Peace is the only organization that takes children that want peace from all over the world and encourages them to believe in peace. I trust that it is not about being an Indian or a Pakistani but about being a human being.  

 Our world is rainbow-coloured. But some people have a limited perception and only see some colors. I believe Seeds of Peace will help me to see all the beautiful colours in our magnificent world because we are all precious in God’s own sight.





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