Every story offers a unique definition of peace. here are just a few from the creative peacebuilders we know.
In the past year, we’ve interviewed many peacebuilders about the work they do and the places where they do it.
Each of their stories offers a unique definition of peace. Added together, those definitions form a beautiful vision of humanity that we can strive for. Here are just a few visions of peace from the creative peacebuilders we know:
Fr. Jude Nnorom
Peace is a journey of ongoing conversion
“Peace begins with recognizing that people are the experts: the ones on the ground, the informal settlement dwellers, those who are carrying garbage. I acknowledge their capacity. I let them know that what they are doing can be improved. They don’t have to engage in unhealthy competition. They can create relationships.
“Peace is a journey of ongoing conversion. It’s in their visions for their cities and their dreams for their children. Each day I’m grateful for my many conversions – for the people I work with and that they are teaching me to be generous. They’re contributing to the growth of their cities. They’re making them beautiful.”
Read more of Jude’s story here.
Peace opens cracks for others to be accepted and healed
“I had a boss who had a serious quarrel with his boss. One afternoon, he left home sad and angry, and I worried about him. The next day, he came to the office almost singing, and I thought, what happened? He said, ‘I spent the evening praying for my boss. I did not pray for him to change, but for the Lord to show us both how we can go on together.’ That is one of the strongest statements of faith and peace I’ve ever heard: putting the other in front of me, between me and God.
“Christians today easily condemn suicide and abortion, and yet we kill other people in the name of an imagined peace. But do I have a right to kill at all? If one is a soldier, he or she should know about the open arms of Christ. We should not base our activism on judgment, but on being like Christ: opening cracks for others to come in to be accepted and healed… As much as I can, I would like to contribute to creating such a world in which my child will not have to choose whether to kill, in any kind of circumstance.”
Read more of Julijana’s story here.
Dong Jin Kim
Peace cooperates–but does not conquer–in the name of global justice
“Humanitarian aid is about addressing injustice at the global level. But it’s also about national interest. I present the Soviet Union and the US as a precedent. They cooperated to eradicate smallpox during the Cold War. Even though they saw each other as enemies, they saw that just because someone was poor didn’t mean they shouldn’t have access to a vaccine. As part of the international community, from the perspective of global justice, they created that kind of space.
“This doesn’t mean we take military action and conquer to protect human rights. That would exacerbate our sense that people deserve to die because they’ve lost, because they’re bad people. We need to do something peaceful, to create a niche space for interaction and neutralize the narrative of rivalry. I believe that is the only way to survive.”
Read more of Jin’s story here.
Peace is action, recognition, reconciliation, and relationships
“There’s this idea that we struggle for peace, that peace is the goal and we have to get there. But if you talk of peace as an ideal, we feel it is nearly impossible. We’ll say it’s a very important goal, that we’ll get there someday.
“Today, they have to understand that peace is also a way itself. When people find that peace is not a faraway goal, but a possibility to have relationships with their family, there is no need to use violence to get authority. If they have tools to transform themselves, transform conflicts, and if they recognize others as human beings, they empower themselves. It’s like magic.
“We are not only our violence. We also have peace in us, not as a calm, but as a force of transformation. It’s the possibility of seeing the world, seeing life, in another way: with inclusion, with recognition of the other, without prejudice, without stigma, without always judging people.
“Peace has a lot of names. It’s not tranquility, and it’s not passivity. It’s action, recognition, reconciliation, relationships. It’s a lens to put on reality, to see what does and doesn’t exist. You have to show that to people.”
Read more of Vera’s story here.
Crafting More Stories of Peace
The Artisans of Peace program brings together leaders and their stories so they might share their visions for peace and encourage, learn from, and build resilience among those doing similar work.
Your support helps amplify the message of these creative peacebuilders; a message for all who long for peace without victims, for better ways of being together, for true belonging in an ever-expanding community:
There is hope in the heart of conflict.
There is hope in these divided and difficult times.
The world's peace builders desperately need spaces of trust, curiosity, and collaboration. Meet the need by supporting gatherings that nurture hope and inspire creative solutions to the world's toughest problems.
Join us to transform communities plagued by violence and rivalry.