If you,as a young adult,overthink about world peace as a hobby, dinner table debates on communism v/s capitalism is your element and you can pull any issue apart at the seams, even if it is a covfefe tweet by the US President, like I casually do you would definitely know what it feels like to be greeted with questions like why should peace and development and politics concern you in the first place when you have important things in life to worry about (hint: Academics) and, I must say,after years of drilling in with these questions and a little tryst with the reality that our newsfeed and newspaper headlines reveal , I have started to find such questions rather reasonable.
After all, I am not a five-year-old dying out of hunger in Somalia.
Neither am I a seven-year-old left bereft of my home in Aleppo.
Nor am I a malnourished ten-year-old losing one of my friends every ten minutes in Yemen.
I am also not an emaciated twelve-year-old Jewish Palestinian longing for a place to call home.
I am not Anne Frank.
I am not Sadako Sasaki.
I am not the Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
I am not any of those people they talk about in war fiction or non-fiction.
I am not any of those kids whose father told them he would be home for dinner but all he returned for was his funeral.
I am not.
None of us are.
Let’s face it, all of us who are in peace enough to read this(me included),are privileged,to say the least.
We have got privilege enough to scroll through our newsfeed and sympathise with victims of a random war in a hard to pronounce city in the world through a mourning post.
We have got privilege enough to discuss politics on dinner tables and condemn those we think our responsible for our agony.
We have got privilege enough to demand an IPhone 8 for our birthday.
We have got privilege enough to think of how much our life sucks.
If we are that privileged, why should world politics or war or peace or refugee crisis concern us ?
Here is one over arching reason why( because I cannot come up with any other reason,neither can you bear me for that long an article)
Well,quite easily,because we could be any of those people we talk about,ever so insouciantly.
We can be any of those.
We might be any of those.
The plain fact that we exist in this hot mesh of a world,at this very moment,makes us and our world vulnerable.
Our entire world and all of the love, the happiness, the hatred, the jealousy, the anxiety, the pizzas, the chocolates, the annoying siblings in it, figuratively everything, could be reduced to a blood-laden battleground and we would fall with the greatness of a deck of cards, without enough rubble to reach the ears of those who would sit in their comfy homes, tucked in their warm blankets, watching their favourite TV shows.
Nine countries of the world,today, possess approximately 16,300 nuclear weapons in all,my country included.
But does that make me feel any safer when I step out of my house in the dark? It doesn’t.Does it,to you?
Is that not enough reason for us to have world peace, need peace, rather yearn for it?
Is that not enough reason for our world to strive for the kind of peace that lies outside the defence expenditure competition, the nuclear weapon hoarding race or the number of peace pacts signed tally?
Is that not enough reason for us to manufacture a world where existing is a pleasure to be and not something you could have skipped had you any chance of doing it?
Is this not enough reason for teenagers’ opinions and political stances to matter?
Yes,I am a privileged teenager; I dance along Ed Sheeran’s songs, prefer ripped jeans over normal ones, read Murakami,casually abhor my high school life, demand an Iphone on my birthday while secretely waiting for an acceptance letter from Hogwarts.Despite all this, I have political opinions and this is a letter, an open letter,to me,to you,to those who lead our world today,to stakeholders, to adults, to kids,to bridges and borders,to my neighbour ,to my neighbour’s neighbour, to my neighbour’s neighbour’s pet, to the reader who is direly longing for this piece to end,to whomsoever it may concern :
Peace is not an oxymoron. Let’s not make it one.
Peace is not a contradiction, wrapped in hopelessness, presented with utmost exquisiteness of a candy. Let’s not make it one.
Peace is not a showpiece on the mantelpiece over the fireplace of world politics that we brag about and click selfies with but never really put to use. Let’s not make it one.
Peace is not an overpriced dress from H&M that I buy and never really put on. Let’s not make it one.
Peace is not war. Peace is not defending the border of a country. Peace is not counter-attack. Let’s not make it that way.
You think you know what agony looks like? Ask that little five-year-old who has no idea whose hand to hold when lost in a crowd,who has no idea whom to hide behind when the world shuns him, who has no idea whom to yell at and still be loved, who has no idea who to demand a PlayStation from, who has no idea what and whom to call ‘his’ because those who shot his parents dead looked just as human.
Peace is not a hashtag on my Instagram picture.
Peace is not a Facebook status or a digital frame for my display picture.
Peace is way too gigantic to fit into our quantitative or qualitative analysis. Peace is more.
Peace is not your piece or my piece. It is a common piece of happiness. It is a common piece of hot chocolate cake that we have got to share,because apparently,that is all we have got.
So why not lean in,grab the mic and take on platform to
Make it that way.
Learn it that way.
Preach it that way.
And for that,dear adults, you need us and that is why we teens need to think about peace and politics.