Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Definitions of Peace

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.
-- UNESCO Constitution

The other day my friend Ambreen called me and asked if I wanted to join her shopping in the Old City. We walked to one of her favorite shops in the Jewish Quarter.

The man who owns the shop is a Jewish Canadian (how would you say that? Canadian Jew?), a former family therapist, and dedicated to opening dialogues about the 'situation' here. He successfully opened a dialogue with us as we were checking out. A highlight (paraphrased):

"When I think of peace", he said, "I think of the end of suicide bombs and rock-throwing, of people getting killed." "But when I talk to an Arab, he believes peace is being able to move freely from one place to another, to not have to go through checkpoints, and to be able to make money for his family." "This is why," he continued, "you should always ask what a man's definition of peace is.. otherwise, you may be using the same word but meaning completely different things."

1 comment:

Victor said...

Good point. It's reminiscent about the other quote you had on peace earlier on your site.