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Opinions of Thursday, 12 August 2021

Columnist: Kafui Nutsu

Sustainable peace series: Promoting peace in diversity (1)

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“Tolerance, inter-cultural dialogue and respect for diversity are more essential than ever in a world where peoples are becoming more and more closely interconnected” – Kofi Annan

We are people with different aspirations, inspirations, destinies among others. The realization of these requires environmental peacefulness. In order to maintain this peace, it is down to every individual to give enormous attention to our similarities, common grounds or what connects us rather than focusing on our differences.

Diversity should be seen as variety in our way of life. It is the practice or quality of including or involving people of different socio-cultural and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders sexual orientations.

According to William Blacke in his book "The Divine Image" Songs of Innocence, he did this illustration: Mercy has a human heart, Pity a human face, Love, the human form of divine; And peace, the human dress.

Peace has always been among humanity's highest values. For some it is supreme, Peace at any price. Peace is better than war, peace is more important than all justice. Peace unjust is preferred to war that is justified. Peace have never been bad and there has never been a good war.

To achieve peace in diversity, every human endeavor such as politics, tourism, education, election, entertainment, religion, traditional, international relations among others should make room for people of diverse backgrounds. The resultant effect will eradicate uncertainties, marginalization, social exclusion and social unrest.

Todd Shuster, once said, as human beings, we are all the “same kind of different.” Each one of us has a unique mind, personality, and appearance. Each one of us has inherited traits as well as characteristics shaped by our education and life experiences. Most everybody on this planet wants the same things—peace, health, safety, comfort, personal attainment and fulfillment, a sense of purpose and meaning, love, friendship, family.

When we notice differences between ourselves and others, we might feel uncomfortable or unsafe. At times we may feel so frightened that we might separate ourselves from those who don’t seem to be quite the same as us. In some cases, we may even become violent because of such differences. It’s the unfamiliarity that breeds corrupted thinking and destructive behaviors. The salve, then, is coming to know others whose culture, or way of being, or appearance is different from ours.

When our friendships at work and in our communities embrace such diversity, any differences we detect in others become familiar to us. They then come to seem less peculiar. And then we realize that we are, indeed, the same kind of different. We’re all in the boat of life together. We are all in fact quite similar. We can be with one another in peace.

In conclusion, I would urge all as Ghanaians to continue employing divergent views and means in resolving our differences and create an enabling environment devoid of discrimination.

The writer is a staff of the Information Services Department