Everyone for a Peaceful World
by Miki Nagatomo
Miyazaki Minami High School, Miyazaki Prefecture
Messages of Peace from Chiran
13th Annual Speech Contest, 2002
Honorable Mention, High School Division
What is "peace"?
I think peace is people being able to live
happily without war. When I tried looking up the definition in the
dictionary, it said, "a society living in calm without war."
Large-scale wars like World War I and World War II have ended, and many
people should have learned about the tragedy of war and the importance of
However, as everyone knows, in the world there are still many areas
where wars have not ended. Tension about the Palestinian problem has
increased again recently. Also, talk has arisen that war may start regarding
the Kashmir issue. Now there are many countries that have nuclear power, and
fears have arisen that this will cause large-scale damage if war starts.
Everyone in the world wants peace.
Even so, why do people repeat wars? Why do people who have learned about the
horrors of war pretend not to notice the wars happening in various places
around the world? Why
don't they try to stop them? There are also many people in the world who are
working to try to stop wars. However, aren't there perhaps many people who
pretend not to notice them?
Are you ignoring them?
Before now many people
hoped wars would end. Japan suffered damage from atomic bombs during World War
II, and our country pledged to renounce war, knowing the importance of peace.
I think it is really great being born in this country that pledged to renounce
war. Therefore, shouldn't we who live in Japan promote the importance of peace
in the world and not ignore conflicts? Shouldn't we tell people in the world
about the horror of war and the terror of atomic bombs?
Mother Theresa, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, says that the opposite
of love is indifference.
Everyone, since now globalization is increasing,
shouldn't we try to have love and concern for people of the world?
First, isn't it necessary for Japan to learn from the wars it has been
involved in and for people to reflect on the wars that have happened up to
now? Also, isn't it important to know about the conflicts currently happening
in various regions of the world? I think we can see gradually what we need to
do by learning about these things.
Until recently, I had hardly any interest
in conflicts happening in the world. I did not know about them. The reason,
embarrassing to me, was that I thought that now there were hardly any wars in
the world. However, one day I happened to notice a photo book called Totto-Chan's
Children: A Goodwill Journey to the Children of the World, and I learned
about the many people now throughout the world who suffer from malnourishment
and look like skeletons. Also, I could not forget the pleading eyes of these people in
the photos, so I investigated the reasons why such a
thing could happen. I found out for the first time that many wars are still
happening even now in the world. I was very shocked.
concerned, I began to learn by attending various lectures, making sure to
watch the news and read the newspapers, and investigating NGO activities by
the Internet. There
are still many things I do not know. However, as I learned various things, I
gradually realized there are things I personally should do.
together with my friends, and first we will try to donate to organizations working
for international cooperation, such as the Red Cross. We will get funds to
donate by collecting aluminum cans and exchanging them for money, and we will
collect telephone cards, unused stamps, and miswritten postcards to get
refunds. Also, we are investigating and thinking about the conflicts occurring
in the world.
I have no power to stop the wars happening in the world. However,
I thought surely there is something I can do to promote peace.
told me this the other day, "War is born inside a person's heart. People must
construct a fortress of peace within their hearts."
A peaceful world is
not something that can be naturally created. It is made by our hands.
let's cooperate and create a peaceful world desired by every person.
Translated by Bill Gordon