True peace & harmony, things my yaye & babu taught me
Linguistic harmony

On coming to terms with violence in this world

Fruits of violencePAUL WAUGLA WII

An entry in the 2015 Rivers Award
for Writing on Peace & Harmony

VIOLENCE abounds in this world. Four in five Londoners afraid to walk the streets after dark. New York amongst the most troubled American cities for street crime.

In Papua New Guinea we’re all familiar with the law and order situation in urban areas. People talk and express the same sentiments. The same gut feeling.

Sometimes the people are bored by the ‘same old tale’. Don’t you have anything good to say, is the plea, as denial seems easier.

Some Papua New Guineans have begun to develop a passive attitude toward crime. They believe crime is just a way of life in contemporary society. Others are appalled whenever they encounter it in newspapers or on television.

People are prepared to go to great lengths for peace of mind. We really care about our security. We make sure our sense of security isn’t an illusion. (But still the enemy strikes when we least expect it.)

A lone gun man walked into a café in the middle of Sydney last year and held the customers hostage. Two of them died before the gunman was shot dead.

The Sydney restaurant siege was flashed across the world on television. It was an act of terror perpetrated by an individual who had some sort of macabre agenda.

People who commit acts of terror clearly believe they have a worthwhile purpose. They are willing to go down the path of violence to force governments to bow to their whims. And we are constantly reminded that no one country in the world is immune from their threats.

Someone told me once that a poet must retreat into the wilds from time to time. We need solitary moments do allow our mind to figure things out. We can wander into the woods or climb to the top of a hill in the middle of the night, sit on a boulder and let the wind caress our face.

The solitude and seclusion of the wilds somehow helps us to come to grips with the reality of existence.

We must not be weighed down or trodden on by the travails of life. The human soul can rise above all that. 


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