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Young people from all over the world analyzing the reality of peace in our interpersonal relationships

By 21 December, 2018January 3rd, 2023WYP
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Peace is fruit of a work in common. That is why it is necessary to learn to dialogue and to make decisions together to build this peace. This is precisely the challenge faced by the WYPers of several countries in order to work on the new theme of the WYP 2018-2019 “Peace in construction: making decisions together for a new civilization.”  

If in the first stage of the WYP (2015-2017) we worked on one of the axes of human relations, i.e. forgiveness, this time we are working on another decisive point: how to make decisions together, within our interpersonal networks (family, work, school, university, groups of friends, associations, etc.), decisions made in peace and for peace. The premise we start from is that civilization cannot be generated without peace.

As stated in the encyclical letter ‘Laudato si’:

“(…) peace (…) is much more than the absence of war. Inner peace (…) lived out authentically, is reflected in a balanced lifestyle together with a capacity for wonder which takes us to a deeper understanding of life. Nature is filled with words of love, but how can we listen to them amid constant noise, interminable and nerve-wracking distractions, or the cult of appearances? Many people today sense a profound imbalance which drives them to frenetic activity and makes them feel busy, in a constant hurry which in turn leads them to ride rough-shod over everything around them.” 

The first groups of dialogue and work of the WYP to address the construction of peace were formed in the months of September and October. How do they do it? First through an analysis of reality with an attempt at discovering what is missing. Further down, here is what the WYP members of different cities of the world tell us:

– In Berlin, Germany, since the very first dialogues and meetings we have had, one thing has been clear to us:

“peace can only be understood starting from relationship.”

– In Rome, Italy, we are meeting at the International Youth Center San Lorenzo, founded by St. John Paul II. Before speaking and reflecting on peace, we wished to focus on our way of opening up to others. As Pope Francis affirmed:

“The path of what is lacking passes through what there is. (…) We must start from reality in order to take the leap into ‘what we lack’. We must scrutinize the ordinary in order to open ourselves to the extraordinary.”

– In Spain, some work and reflection groups have been formed in several universities of Madrid, Salamanca and Barcelona, where we will work more especially around Etty Hillesum.

– In India, there are Training Sessions on WYP and Work Meetings on peace, in Mangalore, Bangalore and Kochin.

– In Colombia and Bolivia, the first meetings have focused on Madeleine Debrel and Etty Hillesum. They have inspired one of the first conclusions of these groups:

“It is necessary to work peace starting from our daily life, making a sacrifice for what we want. Only with love can we break down the barriers of our egoism. “

-In Ecuador, work groups are held in several universities in the country, such as Loja, Quito, Santo Domingo, Ibarra.

– In Peru, we are discussing peace building also through a poetry creation workshop.

With the work of these first months, the WYP tries to realize one of the dreams of Saint Oscar Romero:

“That children and young people be trained to analyze the reality of their country. That prepares them to be agents of transformation, instead of alienating them with a pile of texts and techniques that make them ignore reality “.

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