World Peace is lofty phrase often thrown around at beauty pageants and youth conventions. The evening news does an excellent job of assuring us that it will never be achieved by running stories on the rising conflict between North Korea and America as well as bombarding us with news of terror attacks and deprivation of human rights. It is a truly horrifying reality.
Above all the conflict and devastation in the world, we each have the chance to make a difference. As youth, we are beginning to move into adulthood and lay our mark on the world. We have the incredible opportunity to shape a peaceful existence.
Civilisations before us have recognised the need for peace. The Minoans of Crete built their whole civilisation around a peaceful co-existence, an admirable feat. The Romans often used an olive branch as a symbol of peace to end arguments or battles.
Present-day, the United Nations has challenged each civilisation to achieve peace through a discussion of obstacles and opportunities after recognising an increasing level of distrust between parties to reduce the discrimination and marginalisation of civilisations and minority groups.
To take up this challenge would be to truly make the world a better place.
The Olive Stories hopes to take up this goal: using the olive as a symbol of peace. It aims to encourage an open dialogue between youth so that we can work together, and recognise how we are all capable of creating a difference in the world. I encourage you all to extend an olive branch to those around you and try to see life through their eyes. How can we build a future where pluralism and mutual understanding exist?
World Peace is achievable and we should take every opportunity to discuss it, whether it be at the dinner table or in Parliament. We can make it happen.