Every now and then I turn on the TV and it’s not unusual to see news of disputes, unrest and lawlessness in various forms.

I usually sympathise with those affected in conflicts, but only a few moments after seeing the news, I go about with my day as if nothing ever happened.

Sometimes I do wonder why these kind of things happen all over the place now. With the passage of time, however, I’ve started to think why it’s so common to see this type of news all around us and how I, as a part of the young generation, do not wish to live in this type of world.

The sad truth is that despite the world being under continuous change and evolution, the one thing that is constant is intolerance. Intolerance towards other religions, genders, cultures, classes or races that we deem inferior to our own.

The world is a rainbow, filled with people of all shapes and sizes, colours and races, characters and personalities. If one takes away the diversity of colours from a rainbow, it loses its uniqueness.

The world is riddled with complex problems, with the root cause of a majority of them being lack of compassion and tolerance.

There is a general apathy of those in ease towards others’ suffering. Since we ourselves are not affected, we tend to live in our own little ‘bubble’, remaining ignorant of the harsh reality of violence. We wait around, thinking that sooner or later, someone will change things. However, no one is willing to take the first step. We must learn to change ourselves in order to expect change.

Many mistake peace for being some sort of an unachievable utopia, but that simply isn’t the case. It is unrealistic to think that a world can exist without disagreements, but peace is learning how to settle or contain these disputes through resolutions and negotiations. No one is perfect, including us, and we all must learn this. But when one makes a mistake or has a different point of view, we must handle it peacefully instead of getting aggressive.

A crucial part in the key to peace is education of a person. With education comes understanding. As Einstein once said, ‘Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.’

Keeping his words in mind, we must be open-minded towards others. We have to learn to coexist with one another and improve our understanding of others’ perspectives.

Instead of ignoring others in pain, learn to be empathetic and more conscious of others’ problems. If one is acting unjust or discriminating against another, speak out instead of staying quiet.

The world is a rainbow, filled with people of all shapes and sizes, colours and races, characters and personalities. If one takes away the diversity of colours from a rainbow, it loses its uniqueness. Similarly, without different races, ethnicities, genders and religions, the world loses its beauty. We must learn to accept each other as who we are, for we all contribute to society in a unique and special way. Treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. Respect each other’s point of view. We cannot shut ourselves away and distance ourselves from others simply because we are ‘different’.

We need to interact with each other more and appreciate each other’s lifestyles. We should try to see past the bad in others, because all of us have flaws. Focus more on the good in things. We should particularly concentrate on correct upbringing of our youth who will make the next generation by teaching them more about other cultures and ethnicities at an early stage.

Moreover, school curricula should highlight a deeper and richer study of the contribution of other religions, communities, cultures and regions towards society as well as encouraging more student exchange programmes with other countries. This education will help them respect other traditions, developing tolerance in their hearts for these customs and acknowledging these cultures as unique colours contributing to the rainbow of diversity.

By bringing this change in our attitude and life, we not only bring about peace but a better future — a future where we and our coming generations can all rest under the cool shade of the blossoming and evergreen tree of peace.

Published in Dawn, Young World, January 25th, 2020