What Does It Take to be a Peace Seeker?
It takes imagination and creativity. A peace seeker cannot look at reality and derive a vision of a peaceful future from it. In most cases, there’s nothing in his immediate reality that looks even close to a peaceful future. So when depicting a vision of peace, a peace-seeker needs to think creatively and ‘outside of the box’. Luckily, we have some past experience to learn from; the more attempts are made towards a sustainable peace in the region, the more infrastructure the peace-seeker gets for future strategic planning.
It takes courage. In most countries, there won’t be many people sharing your vision. On the contrary; they would be very uneasy, uncomfortable and angry of it. They might try to shut your mouth, limit your freedom of speech, incite against you, imprison you or even hurt you (I even know a man who died because he was a peace seeker; His name was Yitzhak Rabin). You will be called a traitor, a bastard, an asshole, the enemy from within. Even your closest friends might find it hard to support you and your path. But you must overcome all of this and believe in your inner truth. You must explain to them that you’re not hallucinating or anything; you simply don’t see the point of a constant conflict, you see beyond that.
It takes a measure of irrationality. Superficially, there’s no reason to believe or hope for peace. But still, against all odds, you do. It’s irrational! I came to this conclusion after many people tried to talk me out of this peace-seeking thing. They said, just as I noted before, that there are no signs for a viable stable Palestinian partner around; hence, peace is not possible. In a sense they are right. But the peace-seeker knows that even during the hard times someone has to wave the peace flag. Every action has a reaction, and if no one would wave the flag on our side, no one would do it on the other side.
It takes compassion and forgiveness. It takes a basic belief in the pure goodness of people. Because for peace to be achieved- it’s inevitable- you must join forces with your enemies. Yitzhak Rabin once stated in 1994 that peace is made with enemies. As simple as it is- he couldn’t be more right. You might disagree with many things your enemy says or thinks; you might consider him the exact opposite of you. However, sometimes it’s irrelevant for the final goal of achieving peace between you. In the process of trying to make your enemies your allies, you must grow stronger than hatred and anger. You must learn to forgive so you could move forward.
Good luck to all peace seekers in their journey for a better future!
YaLa Young Leaders