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Imagine all the people living life in peace.

You may say Im a dreamer, but Im not the only one. I hope someday youll join us and the world will be as one. These lines are the most highlighted lyrics from the 1971 hit song Imagine by John Lennon. John Lennon, who was so wrongly taken from us 31 years ago, is an icon of peace who strived and struggled for a true peace with his talent and with his resources. Imagine (on which I have stated before) is a manifesto to a Utopian world where true peace is the paradigm and constant war as a foreign policy is abolished. It is a tragedy that some people in our world marginalize or kill our peacemakers. Last night, as I was thinking about the word peace, I thought of where are world would be today if people like Mahatma Gandhi, John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr., or Bobby Kennedy would not have been assassinated, or what would happen if we, their survivors, had made more meaning out of their violent, meaningless and senseless deaths. Would our world be closer to the state of Utopia that John Lennon dreamed of? Lennons dream is never bleak in this generation. Lucky enough that still, there are numerous people who are endlessly advocating on finding peace on them and in the world. Today, we start the 4-day countdown to the observance of the International Day of Peace, when we call on combatants around the world to put down their weapons and try to find peaceful solutions to their conflicts. This years theme is Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future. It highlights the fact that we cannot possibly think about building a sustainable future if there is no sustainable peace. Armed conflicts attack the very pillars of sustainable development, robbing people of the opportunity to develop, to create jobs, to safeguard the environment, to fight poverty, to reduce the risk from disasters, to advance social equity and to ensure that everyone has enough to eat.

The question of how to achieve sustainable peace is never that difficult to answer. It would be nice if I talk and answer this question here in front all of you guys like I am a pro on the peace process currently initiated all over the world. But, I will deal with this at a personal level, as only few (if any) of us have influence on a national or international level of peace process. Let me start through sharing a quote by Baruch Spinoza, a Jewish-Dutch philosopher: For peace is not mere absence of war, but is a virtue that springs from, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, and justice. This is a favorite peace quote of mine. After World War 1 (the War to End All Wars, as it was called back then), there was peace in Europe. However it was merely the absence of war. There was no benevolence and little justice for those who were on the losing side. This became resentment and eventually led to World War 2. For us as individuals, this quote still applies. The cold truce after a fight with a close friend isnt really peace; its just the absence of war. Until there is benevolence, confidence, and justice, the anger which started the war will continue to simmer below the surface. It will continue in that manner until the anger comes to boil, and true peace is achieved. Religions do teach how to bring peace into this world but nobody seems to understand the written doctrines. Gods law says Thou shall not kill and yet a lot who call themselves Christian go and kill others in wars. Where is there love, peace and Christianity in that? War begets war. Peace begets peace. That means that sustainable peace starts with everyone in this world. THINK ABOUT IT. The third law of Isaac Newton, which is commonly called the :Law of Nature states that If there is an action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If we focus on war (action), we will get war as the reaction. If we focus on peace (action), we will surely gain peace as the reaction. If someone does something

good to someone, it will create a ripple effect. Think of when you dropped a stone in the pond. It generates a small ripple at first, but after a while, that little ripple has spread throughout the entire pond. Now think of peace. If someone apologizes to someone else, and they do the same, imagine what we can achieve. Now imagine if we do all these things needed for sustainable peace, it is a surety that the more or less 3000 lives wasted during the September 11, 2001 Al Qaida attacks on the two towers of the World Trade Center were not merely wasted but turned out to be the inspiration to achieve sustainable peace. If we forgive others, do well to others, and smile to others every day, or in short, start peace on ourselves, John Lennons lyrics on the song Imagine will be realized and we will be going to reap sustainable future. Maari niyo ba akong sabayan sa pagkanta ng mga huling linya ng kantang Imagine. 1. 2. 3. Start. Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say Im a dreamer, but Im not the only one. I hope someday youll join us and the world will be as one. Daghang salamat and Peace be with us all.