Peace, Human Rights & Health: Part 1

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What is Peace?

The Njoroges are happily married for almost forty years. They have been blessed by four children, three triplets who are girls and one boy. Two of the girls are already electrical engineers and work for a leading engineering firm in Algeria. One of the girls is a housewife. The boy, Alfred, got addicted to alcohol and is currently undergoing rehabilitation.

The couple are always happy until when Alfred confronts them. Alfred is not yet married while his sisters have stable families. Alfred finds it difficult to adapt to life without alcohol. Sometimes, he escapes from the rehab center and go back home at midnight. He bangs the door and disturb the peace of the duo who by then are enjoying the moonlight night. Mr. Njoroge quarrels his wife for not bringing up the child well. The wife cries not knowing what to do. What is wrong with the family?

The Njoroges are not in harmony. Peace is defined as a state of tranquility or quiet within a system. Alfred disturbs the peace of his parents when he comes home drunk. He makes Mr. Njoroge disturb the harmony his wife had the whole night. He blames her for the wrong upbringing of their child.

Peace can also be defined as:

  • Inner peace of mind
  • Absence of war
  • Pact to end hostility
  • Harmony in personal relations.

Peace is subjective. One’s peace my not necessarily mean the same to the other. Therefore, for the benefits of peace to be seen, there must be a reduction in violence. This is called positive peace.

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For our case, Alfred must reduce the frequency of coming back home drunk and disturbing the good time of his parents. This will mean that Mr. Njoroge will have no reason to brawl his wife about the bad direction she gave her son during childhood.

What about negative peace? This refers to complete absence of direct violence. If Alfred decides to completely stop coming home drunk, which means that he has to adhere to his rehabilitation schedule, then we call this negative peace.

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Do you know that peace is different from harmony?

Harmony includes the notion of freedom, justice, equality or sustainable development of basic human needs.

 

 

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