Orekoya Ola: Why must a culture of peace be built with violent communication?

by Orekoya Ola

The word ‘peace’, has been over used by different people, from the educated elites to the politicians, rich, impoverished, religious sect amongst other institutions that make up the society. But many a times, the word having lost its power and substance have been reduced to flimsy facade of an impractical nature, and as a tool of great deception by the enemies of its practice.

Peace as defined by the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, latest edition is, “a situation or period of time in which there is no war or violence in a country or area”. By this definition, we have an insight into the relationship between the words, ‘Peace’ and ‘Violence’, which forms the basis of this discussion.

In historical ancient Africa, peace was only seen as the aftermath of war. War which is characterized by a total state of disorder, a terrible occurrence that ushers in a lot of bloodshed, internal displacement of persons and loss of life and properties was viewed as a normal way of settling disputes between two or more village sand clan, it was seen more as an opportunity to take revenge on their enemies than of settling disputes. This ancient African method of bringing peace through revengeful war has taken new forms in modern age and civilization as was the case in the Nigerian civil war (1967 – 1970), the first world war (1914– 1918), the second world war (1939 – 1945), the fight against apartheid in South Africa(1952), attacks from violent terrorist groups such as The Islamic state of Iraq and the Levant, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda,Taliban etc. This form of building peace has done a lot of damage to my linage and involved environment. Having lost a lot of lives, destroyed lots of properties which my generation might have enjoyed and also left an unforgettable mark in the hearts of my family and many; the effect of the Nigerian civil war left an unforgettable lesson in the minds of all, building a culture of peace through non-violence communication is indeed the best way of resolving issues of which in subsequent years have formed the basis of a better relationship between the Nigerian government and the people.

Non-violence communication as in relation to today’s realities, involves the power in spoken words to use non-violence means of communicating to reach agreement and settle disputes. Words are used creatively and majorly to compel (not to force) both parties to reach a consensus.

In other to aid the building of a culture of peace through non-violence communication, one of the aids that should be employed is a formal training in the field of non-violence communication.

Also non-violence communication can be eradicated by self-help, by reading motivational books, novels, stories that builds good affection and intent for others.

Another way is the media (TV, radio) print (magazines, newspapers etc.) and the social media (facebook, twitter, Skype) should be aired or published to enable the fast growth of building a culture of peace through non-violence communication.

The government and institutions all over the world also have a large part to play in building a culture of peace through non-violence communication. Government should position itself as a standardof peace by which thepeople would be compelled to emulate rather than using forcible means anddecrees in governing her people.

The family which is the smallest unit, but the basic in every society also have a large role to play. I don’t know why parents should practice non-violence communication among their children; they should counsel them each time they falter, other than the use of corporal punishment which over time hardens the heart of children and eventually makes them violent.

Children should watch movies, listen and sing songs and read books that teaches the priceless virtue of peace, and should be done under parent’s supervision.

Religious groups are also not left out. The doctrine of war brings peace as thought by some religious groups should be discouraged rather peace should be preached and faithful should be encouraged to imbibe peace as a virtue.

Finally one’s a culture of peace is built through non-violent communication the world simply becomes a happy place all to live in. Then the truthfulness of Martin Luther king Jr.’s words, when he said, ’’but life at its best is a creative synthesis of opposites in fruitful harmony. ’’ Eventually becomes the new anthem that the world sings and the words of Albert Einstein that, “peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding will become our pledge.

This entry was submitted as part of the Nigerian Voices competition organized by YNaija.com.

We publish, un-edited, Nigerians telling the stories of their everyday lives. Read all the narratives daily on the Nigerian Voices vertical. You can also contribute your own story titled ‘Nigerian Voices’ to [email protected].


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