Ever heard of someone writing a Peace Research? Did you know you can too? Eunice shares with us her experience!
I must say, you’ve gotta be quite an individual if you are checking out this article. Yes you, oh esteemed and educated person! Alas, the absence of intellectuals is strongly felt these days. Dumping ice on yourself wouldn’t be enough to escape the second-hand embarrassment of looking at devolving people.
I can relate to your interest in this topic as the themes ‘peace’ and ‘war’ are considerably hot topics in 2021. Personally, I’d see it as good news as more people are interested in knowing more — if only the context wasn’t the strife certain countries are facing resulting in an obnoxious lack of human rights, and the challenges people are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Have you ever wondered if you could be the change in someone’s life and bring them happiness? Be the one to make your friends ridiculously hyped over attending campaigns in a hilarious yet endearing way? Or maybe you feel the depressing frustration of not having enough anti-bullying education?
What say you try writing a peace research as a starting point?
Before I explain what a peace research is, let’s take a look at a peace proposal! A peace proposal is a report or a proposal that focuses on solving world issues which could include human rights, war, nuclear abolishment, and more. Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, a Japanese renowned writer who submits a peace proposal every year to the United Nations (UN) to urge them to carry out his proposed solutions hand-in-hand.
As for a peace research, it’s more focused on allowing the writer themselves the chance to learn more about the peace-related topics they’re researching. It’s aimed at helping youths to be more concerned about world issues. The more important goal being to allow us youths to consider what actions we can take or contributions we can make to society! After all, peace starts with us — it starts with you. By educating yourself and taking action, you can change our environments for the better.
Never heard of it before, eh? Trust me, I didn’t either until I took part in a peace research event. You’d be surprised that peace proposals and reports are rather frequently written around the world!
UNESCO constantly issues out requests for proposals with specific themes or topics as the points of discussion. A few example topics include building physical infrastructure of selected schools, or a list of topics writers can choose from under the UN75. Usually, reputable writers or organisations are allowed to submit their proposals to UNESCO.
The UN also collects multiple peace proposals and reports with strict requirements. In May 2021, at least 16 reports were submitted to the UN regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Just like UNESCO, they’re very picky with who are the ones submitting the proposals and reports. As I briefly mentioned previously, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda submitted his 2021 peace proposal called ‘Value Creation in a Time of Crisis’.
“Youth means to cherish hope; it is a time of development. Youth means to challenge oneself; it is a time of construction. Youth means to fight for justice; it is a time of action.” — Daisaku Ikeda
As young people studying in order to prepare ourselves for our future and careers, we frequently deem ourselves as inexperienced or unworthy of praise from adults. We see our seniors as the true MVP of any project we take on, and if anything we’re supposed to be the ones praising them.
But think about it friend, think. We’re all going to reach adulthood someday, and as long as we think there is someone ‘more experienced’ than us, when can we finally feel fulfilled by our improvements and achievements? Each age of people has things that only they themselves can carry out. You might not admit it yourself, but there are countless impactful things you can do if you acknowledge your importance in this society!
Just like how children bring innocent laughter into their family and how grandparents bring loving food into the belly, youths are the ones who are able to prove that the next generation taking over things in the world are better. The YouthXchange, formed by the collaboration of UNESCO and UNEP, states that our habits alone play a decisive role in future consumption patterns. It means that if our habits include things like using shopping bags instead of plastic bags for groceries, we’re able to drastically reduce plastic pollution in the future as our habits will be carried on to the younger generation. The UN also emphasises that youths are central to achieving the Sustainable Goal Developments (SDGs) by 2030.
To put it simply, so you remember just how important you are, you’re the literal FUTURE who can make the world a better place!
What better way to start being enlightened youths by educating yourself about the reality? Not only can you cultivate your critical thinking skills by writing your own peace research, you can also immerse yourself in the culture of writing along the way. I participated in an event and that’s the sole reason why I even know what a peace research is, but I’ll talk about my experience later!
In order to start writing a peace research, you can start with a stable hypothesis that you want to prove. Focusing on an issue that you’d like to solve works too! A few themes you can try out include how to rebuild the country in a post-COVID world, the determination to be the one to start making changes, or even how youths can implement the SDGs at Taylor’s.
Next, you can choose to either work on your peace research with friends, family, or just do it solo. It goes without saying that working in a group can provide more perspectives and a smaller group is easier to work with. There are also perks with working alone, as you’re able to identify your thoughts and opinions more easily in your piece. It’s all about preference for this part!
Another thing to take into consideration before starting your peace research is to determine the format you want to write it in. You could write in the format of a report, letter, argumentative essay, or any other style that’s deemed suitable for the theme. When I wrote my peace research with my friends, we used the report format! The format does help with identifying and separating different points much easier, and is visually professional too. It feels good to be smart, no?
Once you ‘ve finished writing your peace research, I sincerely encourage you to share it with others. Share your findings with your family and friends, present it to your teachers or seniors for feedback — whatever you want to challenge yourself to do! You can even post it onto your blog or a summary of it on your Instagram post.
People say stories are impactful and boost our emotions. Heheheheh, it’s storytime, friend! Allow me to share about my experience writing the peace research with my friends.
There was an event called ‘Peace Research Presentation Meet’ held by Soka Gakkai Malaysia (SGM), a Buddhist community. SGM frequently hosts events related to education, peace, and culture, so I decided to take part in this event to see what it was about. That’s where I met my group mates who became my friends!
We chose the theme ‘The Determination Never to Leave Behind Those Struggling With Challenges’, and our title was ‘Discrimination in Malaysia is NOT a ‘Normal’ Social Issue Even Before the Pandemic, and the Local Community is Responsible for Eliminating It Through Education’. We learned a lot of new things through the Internet and reading tons of articles. One of my friends even learned how to use some features on Google Docs(how cute). SGM also encouraged the participants to read the 2021 peace proposal written by Dr. Daisaku Ikeda first, as the themes of choice in the event came from there. I wheezed so hard when my dead brain realised that the thing I was reading was just the summary all along. My last 3 brain cells really abandoned me then.
I felt so enlightened and renewed when I finished my presentation with my friends. It was a simple peace research that felt like a group assignment to me, but I still learned so many new perspectives and was exposed to different things I didn’t even know existed. Yes, though the changes were small, I’m a proudly changed human being.
We are youths with the blessed opportunity to further our studies in college or university. Just as how our lecturers encourage us to make mistakes here in order to grow, I also encourage you to be unafraid to create values; now is the time and place for us youths indeed. Value creation makes us stronger and more aware of our surroundings. It’s not only for your own happiness but the happiness of others too. Think about it: who do you want to be happy? How can you, as a youth, help them to achieve happiness? Take it to the next level and write out your peace research. Dish out as much value creation as you can, and I’ll see you on the other side!
Eunice Liow is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Business at Taylor's University. She is also a member of the Event Management team for Taylor's College Student Council.
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