Differences Don’t Define Us

19th May 2022

UKZN Extended Learning

– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase

‘International Day of Living Together in Peace’ is observed on the 16th of May to remind the world to heal from past crimes against humanity inflicted by various countries. The day holds a lot of significance, and the United Nations invites its member countries to promote reconciliation and unity within their communities and globally. Achieving the goal of living together in peace requires world leaders to work with local communities and champions. These leaders need to attain the level of forgiveness and compassion to allow everyone to live harmoniously. To ensure peace and sustainable development, countries that are members of the United Nations need to uphold reconciliation and unity. In addition, acts of service to others foster compassion, which leads to sustainable peace and development. 

Forgiveness and reconciliation are possible throughout all levels of human existence, including the individual, the community, and the national level. The importance of personal and community well-being is a significant contribution to the goal of living together in peace. Despite the atrocities committed, there are still positive aspects that can be derived from them that can be applied to strengthen individuals and communities.

Reconciliation and forgiveness also contribute to community building because they enable once antagonistic people to live together again. After forgiving past wrongdoings, there is hope for reconciliation between races, cultures, and nations. By engaging in respectful and productive conversations, the world can work toward a complete reconciliation. This can be achieved by engaging each issue in an honest and dignified way that does not result in hostility. In this way, it is less motivating to retaliate or maintain estrangement from a perpetrator, despite their actions.

It is increasingly critical than ever to pursue peace and live together amicably in the face of tensions, crimes against humanity, prejudice and discrimination. As a society, we should strive to encourage the maintenance of peace by actively engaging world leaders on the available platforms. 

Peace must be maintained to build a sustainable society and for the common good.