Peace is supposed to be a stress-free state of security and calmness that comes when there is no fighting or war, everything coexisting in “perfect” harmony and freedom. I believe this best defines St. Maarten both French and Dutch, North and South.
We generally live in a peaceful society that is not directly threatened by wars like many other countries in the world. In our society, we thrive on peace as our differences are handled peacefully and for this, we should be grateful. Through the various community-oriented groups, we see the workings of partnerships while working for the ultimate dignity for all in our community with persons of various ethnicities, religious backgrounds and origins.
As Minister of Justice, I have to ensure that there is peace and order in our community. That our borders are secured and not threatened by outside forces. Our main aim collectively should be to continue to provide and protect peace for all of our citizens within our authority. There can be no prosperity if we do not have safety and security.
In order for world peace to exist, there must be peace in every community and that begins with an inner peace that must be radiated throughout our community and the world.
We must remain vigilant and proactive when we look at the videos on social media with our students fighting in the videos and being glorified for it, and when we see adults passing by who turn a blind eye instead of stopping it.
John F. Kennedy once said, “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.”
This quote fits nicely with this year’s theme of “Partnerships for Peace-Dignity for All,” as achieving peace is something we have to work on continuously in order to achieve our goals of a society filled with peace, justice, nonviolence and social change in our community for which this monument we are standing at was dedicated for in 2014.
We need to address it holistically. We cannot stay in a bubble hoping that it will go away and resolve itself. When we have tried everything and done our fair share only then we can have a peace of mind.
As we join the Rotary International on this International Peace Day, let us remember the luxury we have here in St. Maarten, a peaceful community for everyone. Let us continue to work collectively to maintain the peace that reigns supreme in our communities, St. Maarten the island that we call home that continues to coexist in perfect harmony and freedom.
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