What is Peace? International SPEAK UP Award

APPEALS, 28 Jan 2013

Susan Carew – TRANSCEND Media Service

There is a wise Japanese Zen koan which says …

‘In clapping both hands a sound is heard: what is the sound of the one hand?’

Many stop and try to hear the sound, they become puzzled. Peace is a puzzle that has not been solved by humanity as we have approached the problem as two hands clapping. Peace requires each of us to see differently, for in the past we are seeking applause, rather than to pause in the silence to deeply listen to ourselves, for all answers live in the heart of each of us. That is why peace is present in every moment, every day, and expresses in simple ways.

Another question to consider is … ‘Is peace the moment you start thinking about it?’

Can we think about peace or is what we are grasping for universal and inherent within nature?

We are indeed threads within a web of life that is intricately woven and balanced. We did not create this web; we are a thread within it. As we ask questions we open up to possibilities that allow us to see what we cannot see to find peace is not what we think, it is who we are.

For the author of this proposal, teaching peace as a World Peace Sustainability Clown was a dream and that came true. As a World Peace Sustainability Clown travelling the World in 2010, peace was experienced as service when connecting with people on the streets, teaching in schools, healing in hospitals and communicating with many diverse audiences.

The dream of peace is of One World where all the children realise REAL HOPES for the future. REAL HOPES is an acronym for: Responsibility, Empathy, Awareness, Love, Honesty, Oneness, Peace, Enjoyment and Service. When children integrate natural universal values within themselves, service becomes a natural expression of peace. Peace is service to humanity, it is the light in the darkness.

Peace is life itself that naturally sustains. Perhaps this is the sound of one hand clapping?

Proposal Overview

Children represent over 30% of the world’s population; it is evident that children’s voices, ideas, and concerns are not adequately represented in relation to local and global issues that directly affect them and are likely to affect them in the future.

It is proposed that a International Sustainability & Peace Encouragement Award 4 Kids to Unite People (International SPEAK UP Award) be established.  The International SPEAK UP Award will have as its call to action ‘to be the change you wish to see in the world’ (Gandhi). This is a powerful message that leads by example and encourages ethical conduct and real-world community service. This is an important message for children and world citizens around the World.

The purpose of the International SPEAK UP Award is to empower the next generation to lead the collective visions and actions for peace between people and with natural systems. The Award empowers children by rewarding and acknowledging their ideas, creativity and capabilities in peace building and ecological sustainability in their local communities.

The International SPEAK UP Award raises awareness of the critical importance of children, as future stewards, to be actively empowered in peace building and ecological sustainability in alignment with The United Nations Agenda 21. Agenda 21 Rio Declaration advocates to ‘think globally and act locally’ to unite people in their local community and inspire the world.

It is proposed that a reputable international organisation become the lead organisation and the funding body of the International SPEAK UP Award. Significantly, the international organisation chosen will be in concert with a growing worldwide movement empowering a real future for children inspired by the theme ‘to be the change you wish to see in the world’ (Gandhi) and inspiring world citizens towards self responsibility, peace as personal change and to action peace and sustainability in their world.

It is proposed that the International SPEAK UP Award is promoted worldwide to schools and submissions collected at the local level.

Susan Carew, a Rotary Peace Scholar, will travel to nominated countries as Peacefull the World

Peace Sustainability Clown. As a peace messenger, Peacefull will promote the International SPEAK UP Award to schools, communities and organisations. Peacefull will visit schools and speak to children about peace and sustainability at assemblies, teach classes to demonstrate educational approaches and disseminate information packs highlighting educational resources and providing information from the United Nations e.g. UNESCO and UNICEF.

Susan Carew is a trained market analyst and will conduct market research with schools. The research is entitled Children’s 2020 Visions of the Future. The research will provide an opportunity for children to voice their ideas on what peace and sustainability means to them and the world they envisage. Moreover, it will provide important global data and provide alternative visions for the future.

A documentary film will be produced about the International SPEAK UP Award. The film will trace the journey, highlighting the highs and lows and the many hands linking together in selfless ways.  Interviews will be conducted with principals, teachers, children, parents, communities and interesting individuals met along the way revealing their impressions and what they are learning about peace and sustainability. The documentary film enables the voice of children to be heard, promoting how children envisage peace and sustainability and how children express how they can make a difference in harmony with Gandhi’s vision ‘to be the change you wish to see in the world’.  Children will realise that when they change this changes their world locally and globally.

It is proposed that a Patron be nominated; this person will be an outstanding individual demonstrating a lifelong commitment to youth, peace and sustainability.  This person will inspire others with the vision of empowering young people to become involved in peace building and sustainability projects across the world.

It is envisaged that the International SPEAK UP Award recipients and outcomes be presented to the United Nations in 2013. The recipients will be children and youth of outstanding values and merit demonstrating a determination to be the change they wish to see in their local communities. Thus thinking globally and acting locally.

The author of the International SPEAK UP Award is Susan Carew, a Rotary Peace Scholar based in Perth, Western Australia.


Susan Carew

Email: peacefull@worldpeacefull.com

Phone: +61 409 071 030



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 28 Jan 2013.

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