A Space in This World

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Posted January 9, 2019 from Philippines

Every human has a right to be in this world. Each of us deserves a space to stay. Or should be given a space to be here.

Violence begins when one person, city, or nation wants to claim power by gaining control over another group of people, cities or nations. I should know, I live in the Philippines.

To envision a world without violence, we must first see why there's violence in this world. 

In my small and humble country, there are different forms of violence. 

At home, it is child abuse or domestic abuse or even emotional abuse. 

At school, it is bullying, probably because a student is poorer or weaker or darker or smaller or whatever. 

At church, there is spiritual abuse or lording over members/devotees' choices. 

In society as a whole, land conflicts, drug war, bombings, political rivalries lead to bloodshed. There are too many forms of conflicts, and too many people calling out for peace and justice. Somehow, it became a norm that majority of my countrymen would rather choose to spend their time on beauty pageants and entertainment. This perhaps is their mode of survival. 

Violence begins from taking the spaces of other people for self-promotion, gaining power and securing control. It comes from discontentment, greed and fear of losing significance or dominance. So the more one steals spaces of other people, the more he/she feels powerful. Rape, for instance, is an invasion of a woman's private space.

We live in this broken world and we all become broken people. We reap the consequences of the decisions of generations before us. To aspire to live in a world without violence, we must first be healers.

But how can we heal the external surroundings when we need healing ourselves? 

This is where we start: heal our personal wounds. To go through each pain and reflect why we do what we do. As we heal, we facilitate healing to others. With healing, we give back or restore the spaces stolen from another person, city or nation which rightfully belong to them.

A world without violence is a healed world where everyone acknowledges that each one--each race, each culture, each country, each gender identity, each physical ability, each minority-- has a RIGHT to be here. 

A world without violence is a greed-free world where we all respect each human being's equidistant space of being here. There is no greater or lesser than. There is no outcast. There is acceptance of diversity and differences. Everyone is living in harmony as each one uses his/her individual gifts to serve one another. 

There will be joy and creativity. 

There will be love and dignity.

There will be peace and solidarity.

This story was submitted in response to A World Free of Violence.

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