by Eyiamoni Apeji
It has taken me nineteen years of conformity to realize, but finally I can say with absolute certainty that I do not believe in world peace.
Growing up, I was told to aspire to be different, to be extraordinary, and to make a difference. I was taught to love, to think good thoughts, to be kind.
When I read books, I could see the heroes were those who fought for others. They were the people who inspired, the people who demanded change.
When I listened to music, the songs where themed around Love, capital L. Love is the way. Love your brothers. Love will tell us where to go.
Now that I am older I know what these lessons mean. I see that to be different does not mean we should hate what surrounds us. For these are the things that birth ambition. These are the things that give us the desire to make life better and worth living. To be extraordinary is not a privilege; it is a goal. We all want to be the giver, the bringer, the one who saves the rest, the most important. We all want to live a life that inspires people to live better.
For this we need hardship and hunger. We need poverty and conflict; these are necessary evils, these are necessary hurdles on the way to fulfillment.
The world needs heroes. A world without heroes is like a world without the sun. There is no one to look up too. Everything worth having, everything worth feeling is only valuable because the alternative is undesirable. The reason that good things happen, the reason that progress is made, is because the bad things are there to show us how strongly we reject them.
Conflict exists to preach open-mindedness. Relationships are built on shared beliefs. And War?
War is a cruel and brutal teacher. Violent and destructive, extreme in its teachings, but effective in creating hardship. For the pain of war cannot exceed the woe of its aftermath. War is the wrong medication for conflict. You should not drink a bottle of cancer to cure a headache.
Peace is not the opposite of war. World peace is not the opposite of Violence. Wisdom and conscience these are the cures. To know that violence is never the answer. To know that Violence and oppression are wrong. These are the lessons we ought to learn.
You would think with all the genius and brilliance of our time, we might find a better use for the mind. We are all human; it’s time to prove that we are.
World peace however, is the opposite of conflict. It is a muzzle on progress. It is the killer of ambition. World peace is a potential bandit that steals the great things I will never get to do. That steals away my reason to do them.
I am not ungrateful enough to wish that my life should be one full of only hardship and struggle. I am however grateful enough to recognize that the hardship and struggles I have encountered, or will encounter, are blessings. They are important landmarks placed around my road to fulfillment. Landmarks that have been designed to make my journey more enjoyable and significant.
So no, I do not believe in World peace. I believe in conflict. I believe in open-mindedness. I welcome it because I know that conflict brings progress. I know that it arrives exactly when it should and it leaves exactly when it must. So to conflict I say, “Welcome, teach me what you must. And when you leave, keep the door open behind you. Open, to boundless opportunities, to inspiration and creativity. To progress”.
When he leaves, I whisper, “Thank you for stopping by”.
Eyiamoni Apeji is a 19 year old student of Media and Communication in her 3rd year at Pan Atlantic University. She is a creative writer and poet, and was the Editor (and features writer) of her College Magazine (Atlantic Noise) in June 2016. She has an interest in advertising and marketing and has recently completed an internship programme with the Digital Marketing Agency, Sponge Limited.