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What is peace?

Peace can be defined as a stress-free state of calmness and a feeling of security that comes when there is no violence, fighting or war.

Peace is everything being able to co-exist in harmony and freedom.

However true world peace has not been obtained for centuries, there has always been violence, anger, wars, poverty and famine – just a few examples of the contributing factors that go against peace.

Peace can be both big and small, and can range from peace in an entire country or group of countries or brief, personal moments.

For example after a war between two countries, those countries may sign a peace treaty, but is this treaty truly worth the paper it is signed on? While the main conflict may be over, there are more then likely to be tension and stress and pain.

Conflict and suffering lasts long after the opposing factors have put pen to paper.

Whilst we can all take steps and strive for true and complete peace both personally and in the world, who is to say it will, or indeed can, happen.

We can all take steps to live a more peaceful life as we have discussed in previous articles, the smallest pebble dropped in a pond can cause ripples that stretch across the whole body of water. Humanity, both as individuals and as groups, should strive to be that pebble, to take that step of changing just one small thing in our lives.

When we feel at peace with ourselves, we are content with who we are, including our flaws, as we know, no body is perfect.

But through several small steps we can achieve a level of peace in our lives and this will hopefully “ripple” out to those who surround you.

The journey to all of us living in harmony will be a long and difficult one, we know this, but imagine the beauty of existing in a general harmonious state with one another as a whole, with the absence of stress, anxiety or fear of violence.

This can be achieved, but we all have to make just one small step, by increasing our overall understanding, dropping old barriers and creating and fording new relationships.

Peace is a gradual process that can not and indeed should not be achieved ‘overnight’

World Peace as Individuals

World peace is something the majority of people strive for yet struggle to attain.

But how can we reach a level of peace on this Earth as individuals, even on a small scale?

To quote Albert Einstein;

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding”.

Thankfully the majority of people on this world live in peace, but there are still too many people in the world that are affected by pain and suffering, be it through war, sickness or poverty to name but a few.

But how can those of us not affected (at least not directly) by such large scale suffering achieve peace as individuals in our everyday lives.

First off we can consciously refuse to participate in violent acts against any living being for any reason and not listening to rumors that motivate or involve acts of violence.

Develop your personal surroundings, take a look around you, is there anything you can do for the local community in a charitable fashion?

Once you actually open your eyes to your surroundings you will realize that there is people in need all around, and not just larger scale incidents, those the media deem “newsworthy”.

Are you true to yourself? Are you transparent about your intent with those in your inner and extended circles?

All to often it is too easy to cause hurt or pain (even unintentionally) to those around you, be aware of how you conduct yourself among people in your everyday life.

Don’t be materialistic, of course it doesn’t hurt to strive for success, but at what cost, some of the happiest and most peaceful lives are led by those who shun chasing materialistic pressures.

One of the biggest causes of suffering in the world is natural disasters, do you do your part in preserving the biological ecosystem of the World?

Even what some people consider small and inconsequential can have an impact on a larger scale.

Starting simple things such as recycling, or buying energy efficient light bulbs are a way to develop and conserve the ecosystem, basically ensuring you do all you can to not have a detrimental effect on the environment.

Some of the greatest journey’s start with the smallest steps! And it is never too late to start your journey.

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Ending poverty in war torn areas

Poverty is a major contributing factor in violence and wars.

Tackling poverty in conflict areas is a massive challenge, however the economic model of fair trade that is used in more peaceful countries can also help to alleviate the problems in conflict zones, pioneers of fair trade say.

Imagine being able to offer people decent and fair pricing for their produce, which could in turn help support jobs and improve living conditions for producers, their family and local suppliers and businesses that they purchase from.

This could potentially divert people from joining militia’s and violent propaganda groups and extremists.

By increasing fair trade and developing sustainable, trust-based trading structures in conflict zones we can take steps to restore stability.

Also if the sales of fairly traded products in more peaceful and affluent countries increased we could not only raise awareness of conflict situations in countries but we could help them to achieve peace.

By people working together, as individuals, groups and even countries we can increase co-operation, trust and start taking steps in reducing resentment, anger and violence, creating positivity  and improving standards of living which are key fundamentals in peace.

Of course establishing trade in certain conflict areas can and will be hazardous, so a gentle approach will be required over time, taking small steps to create and nurture the trading relationships required to achieve the end peaceful result.

There are several serious conflict zones globally, but the case for increasing fair trade in these areas will, as mentioned, spread awareness and steps can, and should, be taken in these areas with a view to making a humanitarian difference to the residents on the journey for peace.

So next time you do your shopping, you should consider purchasing fair trade produce and play your part in creating a positive impact in these war torn areas, ending, or at least easing poverty, and take steps in developing a stable social structure.

This overall can help end the violence in conflict areas, increase equality and therefore promote a more peaceful world.