Before I proceed, it’s important to note that that I’m not in anyway dismissing the importance of the peace campaigns people are running all over the country.
I’m glad to that people are dedicated to ensuring that we have a peaceful election.
Considering what some of our neighboring countries have suffered, we can never be too careful.
But I do wonder though, If we’re so scared of ending up like other war torn countries, why do we wait around until elections to try and preserve our peace?
When in between the four years we take it for granted by allowing and encouraging certain actions that can easily threaten the stability of this country.
People sit on radio and television all year screaming insults much to the delight of presenters and networks who care more about ratings than they do about doing what’s right.
And these high ratings also to proves the audiences thirst for careless and unnecessary banter, which only eggs the stations on include this.
But it doesn’t stop there; it spills over into the daily aspects of ourlives, from social media medi, to the market, universities, work spaces etc.
We argue, throw insults, make insensitive tribalistic remarks and things that can easily spark conflict, all in the name of politics.
Our politicans encourage and participate in a politics of insults, smear campaigns and ruthlessness, and aren’t unchecked for it.
But when elections are around the corner, we run like scared little puppies with our tails between our legs begging for peace.
Because a part of us knows we’re guilty of crossing several boundaries, and know with the tensions we’ve created, it will only take a little push to send us over the edge.
It’s like playing with Fire and expecting not to get burnt, one day you won’t be so lucky; and that’s what we’ve been doing for years.
And this is because of our lack of TOLERANCE, which is the only thing threatening our PEACE.
And our lack of tolerance has a lot to do with how polarized our country and politics is, as I stated in my piece on the subject here.
When people are unwilling to accept or accommodate opposing views from others, anyone who doesn’t agree with them instantly becomes the enemy and they’re ready to pounce on them.
And this divide unfortunately isn’t only in our politics, but trickles down to other aspects of our lives.
Let’s say you find out my political affiliation, lifestyle etc is something you don’t approve of because of your religious or moral standing; will we still be friends?
Chances are you will begin to look at me differently, and all but try to coerce me into seeing things your way, and when I don’t you’ll more than likely treat me like there’s something wrong with me.
All the respect, love and affection you have for me will go out the window, simply because I don’t share in your beliefs.
And this is what a lack of TOLERANCE means, when you all but demonize someone for being and thinking differently.
But tolerating someone doesn’t mean that you have to agree with their choices, share in their beliefs or even understand it, it just means you RESPECT that it’s their right to do so. Even if it’s something you don’t like or understand.
Once people are able to understand this, it leaves very little room for conflict, and creates a healthy environment where people can even begin to try and understand and learn from each other.
And this is what I believe we should be working towards.
If every four years we’re out there trying to convince people not to start a fight because of the elections, then clearly something is wrong; because people should already know this.
So as you run your peace concerts,campaigns, t-shirts, ice water and all the things you do and sell to promote peace, remember to include tolerance and this starts with YOU.