The foundation of  peace is not just on the absence of war but also on fair access to basic human needs which are fundamental and universal. Ideally, communication is never successful in most instances and the outcome which is misunderstanding breeds hatred, contempt and anger whose repercussions disturb the peace of nations, society, family and individual. The long stretch of absence of peace drains the inner energy of self, destroys growth of economy and destabilizes governments and nations. It is so severe to an extent that billions of money are invested in creating it. But can it really be created?

When I think of peace, I see an individual. I see the humaneness within us which we seldomly recognize and tend to lean towards the part of us that is brainwashed to live according to the systems in our societies which are oppressive, corrupt, ungrateful, merciless and promote evil. People form mindsets that relate with the beliefs in our environment and forget to ask ourselves before we take any action, is it right? Will it benefit the concerned majority or will it hurt someone? How about if that same thing is done to me or those we love? The best answers we feed to these questions come from one single question which is the basis of peace anywhere: WHO AM I?

At International Peace Initiatives, young people are inspired to take actions for peace and are motivated that good leadership is by influencing others not leading them. The good leader consumes him/herself like a candle just to light the path for others. This is a program called the Now Generation of Leaders, (NGL) which helps people know who they are and discover their purpose in life. 

Every new day our true self refreshes and builds up as we grow and encounter new challenges and realities in life that we deal with hence, it is important to frequently be aware of ourselves in every situation. When we recognize the things that affect us and how best we want to feel. It is the same feeling that others also want to get and could not wish to be treated differently.

(A participant taking time for self reflection during leadership workshop. Photo courtesy of Kelly Njenga.)

To create peace in the entire universe means to be at peace with yourself. According to Dr. Karambu Ringera, the founder and President of International Peace Initiatives (IPI), all humans have humanness in them that means everybody has the potential to act peacefully and embrace that peace. Everybody needs peace and the best way to ensure that peace is by embracing it within ourselves, living with it, understanding it and loving it. Until then, we are able to share it with others because we have it within us. It is the same with love, which starts with ourselves then we recognize the best way to extend it to the people around us. If this chain continues without disconnecting at any level, the whole world will know peace and love and we shall overcome all the challenges of this world.

The understanding of this approach of spreading peace lies on an individual’s decision to embrace peace within themselves. To be at peace with yourself, one has to accept that they are better versions of themselves and neither are they their weaknesses, failures, circumstances nor experiences that might have hindered them in one way or another to achieve in a given area or field. 

“We should recognize our past experiences, embrace them, own them but never let them knock us down such that we are exhausted to try again. We should love them because they happened to us to teach us something and make us wiser and stronger.” Dr. Karambu explained as she motivated the participants of the peace workshop at IPI’s Tiriji Eco Peace Center.

“I say the peace we are looking for is within us because the actions that disrupt peace also originate from our thoughts. So whatever that informs the action and the thinking of either peace or war is my beingness. My BEingness is what I say I am. When I inform my beingness that I am Love and Light, I am informing my thinking to align with the same and that becomes my purpose. It becomes what I do and that is how to create peace within ourselves and for the whole world.”

It is therefore important to recognize that peace everywhere requires somebody anywhere and the whole world shall know peace.