“Every day, 306 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention.” In the world there are 795 million people – or one in nine people in the world – do not have enough to eat. Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases. 6.3 million children died in 2013 – 17,000 a day- mostly from preventable health issues such as malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia. 22,000 children die each day due to conditions of poverty. Each day, nearly 1,000 children die due to preventable water and sanitation-related diarrhoeal diseases. UNHCR Global Trends report finds 65.3 million people, or one person in 113, were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015. The stats can go on and on. So what?
The lecture by Jerome Sigamani asked very profound question that I am still digesting. So what? What is my role in the world or my place and has to do with this statistics? I will try to answer this question through my perspective and really see what it really means?
The lectured started by writing down points that touched the heart and the head. It was surprising that the things that were very human or emotional and had to do with life touched my heart very quickly and I am sure it will be true of others too. It did not happen with the theories and academic work. As a human being it is important that we feel the things in our hart and are passionate to work with peacebuilding. But is it possible when I am broken and need to fix myself more than the society? The quote, “liberate yourself before you liberate others” really stroked me and lot of thoughts came into my mind.
After having the conversation with Pushapa and class discussion, I concluded (there is still a lot of room to improve) that we as a peacebuilder have to accept that we are human beings. We have our own needs, ego, and interest. The most important part though is to find the shared vision and interests from both parties and interconnect it with the local people and fulfill their needs. I believe that it is very important that when we ask so what question it not the negative connotation that is we have to focus on the question but what now? Are you ready to take challenges? Are you ready to be humble? Are you ready to be curios, passionate, mindful? And finally, are you ready to feel the trauma and get paid (usually little) and committed to work and dedicate life to make the change? I am still working on these questions and need time but the lecture made me think on my role in the world and how should I approach to the above questions…