MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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Since the establishment of Messengers of Peace (MOP)-Liberia in 2008, we have noticed an increase in mob violence on the streets, communal violence by various groups of people demanding justices, benefits and recognition. But work place mob violence sounds surreal. Is it happening or not, if it is happening, is it on the increase and is work place environment conducive for young people to thrive? Questions are been asked but very few answers are provided.

It took me one week of a three month stint to realize that you would be mobbed, harassed, intimidated and humiliated if you challenge work place status quo, ingrained tendency that seems to reinforce the male dominance and authority, integrity and the pursuit of professionalism as well as excellence. As my fellow Liberians would say: ‘Leave stories alone’

In this instance, I believe there is more to learn from our individual and collective stories not only to set records straight but for those coming behind to avoid the pitfalls of those ahead. At the atlas of the world’s greatest hopes and worst problems, you find young people.

Young people in our opinion are not the problem rather it is the short-term thinking of generations before us that impedes youth participation efforts today and this could prove devastating; indeed, to some extent, it already has. If we continue to provoke, fight, criticize and harass our youths, they will soon become degenerates.

Last year, over 500 young people from different parts of the world participated at the Global Forum on Youth, Peace and Security in Amman-Jordan on how to protect young people’s human rights: justice, rule of law and the security apparatus of the state. We agreed at that conference to invest in youth and work with them for a new future by putting them in influential positions.

As young people and sometimes along the way, when you’re called upon to serve in this influential positions, there would be people who would want to cut you, shaft you and insult you but if you stay true to the cause and remain focus on your path and when you get to the submit, you would know that you did it standing on the shoulders of giants who loved you. An Advice from Polonius to his son Laertes in “Hamlet” that would always remain shining beacon is “This, above all: to thine own self be true.”

Only through a concerted actions, collective cooperation, and tolerance for our diversity could we start to understand and engage youth involvement in peace and security issues and sustain– the world for generations to come. As young people we have the power to shape a new future for ourselves and the next generation. We should and would not bow to any form of discrimination or intimidation. This is 2016 when we need to fight for our human rights and equality.

An old sage used to say ”Keep your head above the clouds and your feet firmly planted on the ground-then advance step by step”
Until next week, when we come to you with part 2 of work place mob violence, may peace remain in your hearts and may peace prevail in our generation. Peace First, Peace above all else!

#Youth4Peace

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