Ngwa Damaris Ngum shares her philosophy of peace and gives thanks to the woman who transformed her world view.
“I am a testament to how the voice of one woman can change a person.”
I was one with the world until race separated me from the rest of the world. Race arises from the need for nature to express human existence in diverse groups, in order to make life more colorful and beautiful. Just because I am black, you are white, she is yellow, does not make us different.
I was one with the world until borders separated me from the rest of the world. Borders are artificial lines that delineate geographic areas. Borders were created as a means of easily managing social groups, but they have now become a source of conflict instead of a means to preserve order and peace. Countries fight each other because they feel they are different. That I am from Africa and you are from Europe, Asia, or America does not make me different from you.
I was one with the world until religion separated me from the rest of the world. Religion is a particular system of faith, beliefs, and worship. Religious groups’ fight each other and religious leaders do very little to bring about peace. Religion, which was supposed to be the most loving and harmonizing platform, has now become a major perpetrator of hatred and conflict. That I am Christian and you are Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist does not make me different from you.
I was one with the world until language separated me from the rest of the world. Languages are simply a system of communication. They are not meant to separate us. That I speak English and you speak French, German, or Chinese does not make me different from you.
I was one with the world until wealth separated me from the rest of the world. Wealth is an abundance of material possessions or money. I should not be treated poorly because I am poor and you treated nicely because you are rich. That I have a thousand francs and you have one million francs does not make me different from you.
I was one with the world until education separated me from the rest of the world. Education is supposed to be a means for us to develop and mobilize our individual and collective strengths; it should not be a medium for division and hostility. That I have a Bachelor’s degree and you have a Doctorate degree does not make us different.
This is my philosophy of peace.
I was born knowing that I was equal to every other person on earth but then society made me know that I am black and therefore I should despise whites. I am a Christian and should belittle non-Christians. I am African, I am a girl, I am...
For a long time, I felt less than others, and so I hated those who were different from me. I built ideologies of division and hate. But then my mother instilled in me the values of equality, love, peace, and unity.
Because of the power of one woman, I stand today in my little corner of the Earth as an advocate for peace. I am a testament to how the voice of one woman can change a person.
My mother taught me that no human is different or greater than another human being on Earth. She taught me that for peace to reign, I must have love and compassion for myself and everyone around me. She taught me to never allow anyone to make me feel like a nobody. She taught me to respect every human being, face the bullies, and lift up the downcasted in society.
Today, I thank my mother, and I call on every woman to sing her song of peace to their children. As women, we are told to keep our voices silent. Instead, let us raise our voices to create a future generation of peacemakers. Our time on Earth is short, and our calling is to help the next generation live in a world that is peaceful and united.
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