Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
Peace and conflict are both within the human heart. They are instilled in us. They are like day and night. However, what we do with them is our choice. Do we need peace? Or conflict? We need both. Why do we need both? We need both because conflicts shows us the importance and value of peace.
I am a farmer, and I love peace too. Currently, I am looking at it from a different angle. I am looking at peace direct from the soil. Why from the soil?
It is my feeling that the soil supports all of us as human beings and all of nature including animals and trees. Is it possible that I, the human being, have been selfish? I have been ignoring the peace of the animals and trees. All this time I have just been looking at myself, thinking that I can obtain peace alone.
But it is my deepest belief that if I want peace, I have to coexist with nature, and that is why I say peace is also from the soil. As a human being I have to take care of all the natural resources that exist, in order for me to have sustainable peace. I have learned and am still learning how to build peace in this way.
There are many tools for human beings to relate and work together, but here I am bringing forward farmers’ voice, a voice of all who are supported by the soil. We farmers have been breaking the ground open and creating holes in the soil to put our seeds in and also I have been putting poisonous chemicals into the soil, not remembering that this poison will come back to me in conflict.
This is one of the contributing factors that lead to climate change. We will try to solve the conflicts within the people, within us, within our countries and nations; but without also remembering that the major conflict is with the soil, we are not going to have sustainable peace. This is the challenge of our times we no longer receive rains, as we used to.
Climate change is real. I love peace. And I am open to learn the things that can bring peace. But my deep worry and fear is how can I help my community access peace now for a better future, in a way that creates sustainable life. Life where we will take care of the environment hence reduce on cases of our own individual inner conflicts.
Unless we hasten this, it is only a matter of time before for it to explode like a bomb. Resolving our inner conflict gives us love towards ourselves, this in turn gives us love for another person and further love for the larger community. Through these means, we can attain sustainable peace.
I must admit that as a farmer from Kenya, am so glad and feel privileged to be here with you. I am learning so many tools for resolving conflict. Let us not learn only to apply them to other human beings, but how individually apply these tools to solve our own inner conflicts. We need to be close to nature, so that we are not left behind, or go too far in front that we break the laws of nature and cannot repair them.
It takes a moment to drink a glass of water. We want to drink in peace but are we able to drink peacefully. Just reflect on yourself and see how peaceful/conflicted you are. Is that peace/conflict spreading to the next person?
The conflict within human beings, nations, and/or communities, is now exploding and coming out, and the fights are going on. The killings are escalating. Why? Where have we gone wrong? This is a result of missing the natural part of being a human being.
Thank you so much. I love you all and I hope we may think together in this context. As we incorporate peace building and peacemaking. This is why I say ‘Peace from the Soil’.