Category Archives: Commonwealth Essay (Queen’s Essay)

‘Peace’ by Roha Khan


Peace, for me, is waking up to a bright morning because I had a good night’s sleep: not because I hear angry voices coming from my parents’ room. It takes away the feeling that you have, when you wake up to a new day− the feeling that today will be better than yesterday. It eventually gets extremely exhausting: hiding your head under the covers, closing your eyes tightly, with your hands clamped on your ears; you tell yourself that everything will be all right but something deep inside tells you that this is how life is.

Peace, for me, is making through one day, without actually quarrelling with my brothers. We are all hot tempered, and a witty remark, a hint of sarcasm in the voice will send us flying in an argument. We will all flush and my mother’s heart rate will accelerate drastically.

Peace means that I can actually walk into the school I have been going to for the last fourteen years without first having to go through metal detectors, or have my bag checked for explosives or drugs. I mean why I would want to destroy my own school− that has literally seen all phases of my life− why would I want to kill my own friends who have stood by me throw thick and thin. Nevertheless, these days, it seems that no one can be trusted, as conditions have not been that peaceful lately.

Peace, for me, is stopping at a traffic signal without having innocent, little, children knocking on the windows, begging for money. Peace is not when children have to sell pens and books: it is when they can pick up their pens and write with them. The children’s place is not on the streets in rags− it is dressed up in a proper uniform, with a bag on their shoulder and attending school.

Peace is parents educating their daughters just as they educate their sons. It is when girls get their basic rights like consent in marriage, right of inheriting property, and the right to get a pay equal to their male counter parts. Peace is women not only hoping for a better future but also, can actually go out and work to make all their dreams come true. Peace is seeing daughters as a blessing and not a burden.

Peace is actually, when I have a sense of security: when I do not fear or doubt a stranger. It is when I can trust another human being: that he will not attempt to end my life; that he will not steal what I hold dearest. It is looking at an abandoned bag, at an isolated corner, and not fear that it will blow me to pieces.

Peace is a day passing without disturbing images on the television, saying PG, and showing worrying terrorist attack sites, poor, weak and innocent people beaten into a pulp, and such distressing aspects of our society.

Peace means no news on the television that tells the story of a wife mercilessly assaulted by her pitiless husband; a ruthless wife maliciously murdering her husband; ungrateful children sending their elderly parents to old-age homes; penniless parents leaving their starving infants near dustbins. It leaves me with a lump in my throat and I soon become depressed.

Peace, for me, is when the politicians of my country will actually stop pointing fingers at each other but find the fault in themselves and then work on eradicating it. It is easy to see the error in other people’s ways, but it is extremely challenging to stand in front of the mirror after wronging an innocent and looking at your reflection−, I honestly do not understand how they manage it.

Peace, for me, is when someone will not judge me for anyone else’s wrong doing− just because a Pakistani robbed someone in the middle of the pacific does not mean that I am a burglar; a bearded man causing a bomb blast somewhere does not make me a terrorist. You can hold me responsible for my own wrongdoing, but blaming me for something that is far from my control is not what I call justice: and without justice, you can never hope for peace.

Peace means dropping your weapons, dropping your guard; it means standing in a ring holding hands, exchanging flowers and hugs and trusting everyone. This actually sounds like an ideal life. However, can we actually do it? Can we drop our weapons and hope no one will attack us? Can our country trust the neighboring country that if the forces patrolling the border are removed, they will not actually grab at the opportunity of expanding territory?

Peace, for me, will be as soon as everyone will accept, respect and value another person’s believes and not actually enforce the teachings of their own religion on them; there has to be a worldwide liberty of religion or we will not even enjoy inner peace. Religious discrimination is a thorn in the heart and how can we celebrate our own festivals and practice our own religion while we know that some people out there are deprived of their religious requirements.

Starting from the most basic−, can you actually give up your side of the argument so that peace prevails? Can you accept someone else’s response even though you are completely aware that you are right? You have to start from the smallest thing in order to achieve higher goals. So the question is; can you?

Google says peace is “freedom from disturbance; tranquility,” or, “a state or period in which there is no war or a war has ended.”

What sort of disturbances do we experience? Do is it refer to me disturbing my older brothers or is it applicable on my younger cousins annoying me? Our lives can never be free from worries or problems. How often do we experience the “calm” or “tranquility”? Do we not have memories of the past bugging us? Many of us have some unfinished business, thoughts of which keep our eyes wide open at night.

As far as war is concerned, according to The National Interest, there are five places today where World War III could start. Now, to mention the areas divided into categories based on the number of death: four countries with 10,000+ deaths; ten with 1,000 to 9,999 deaths; twenty-nine conflicts have resulted in 100-999 deaths; while fourteen countries have suffered from 1to 99 violent deaths (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

We often find ourselves saying we just want a day of peace and quiet: what is in it that we only ask for one day and not a lifetime of peace? Just imagine a life of peace and quiet. We may think that everyone would want it but the truth is that not everything that we desire is good for us. For instance, imagine a day of silence, not a single word. We long for peace, right?

A day of utter calm. No one is around you. First, the silence seems alien, welcoming; you start getting used to it− resting in the garden, sipping coffee. Soon you desire to hear a familiar voice, you call out but there is no one there, so you sigh deeply and continue with this awkward day.

Then it starts. A ringing in your ear, not something that you notice at first but soon it starts to overwhelm you. You realize that this stillness has its own shrill sound: more piercing than any alarm, intense than any crying baby. Now you want to beg to hear someone else’s voice: even if it is a complete stranger’s − you yourself want to shatter the peace.

We call out for peace but the truth is that we cannot stand it. We want to argue, to debate, to make sure are we are heard and respected. We fight and say it is for peace. It is in the nature of humans to demand things we cannot have; for we are all spoiled children. It is just that we have a great deal of hope within us and we hope, desire and

crave for the impossible. I hope for peace, you hope for peace, and we hope that, one day, everyone finds peace.

“You do not always win your battles, but it is good to know you fought.”− Lauren Bacall