A Reflection on Peace by Victoria Lumax

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Victoria Lumax was part of the MCC United Nations Office 2022 Student Seminar fall 2022. The theme of this event was Ukraine and armed conflicts: Pursuing justice and peace. Victoria is a fifth-year Honours Arts student majoring in Peace and Conflict Studies and English. Here are her words reflecting on what she learned about peace to kick off the winter term.

What is Peace?

By Victoria Lumax

People on UN MCC trip

"Peace is a struggle. It plays tug of war with darkness, and gets rope burns in the process. It scales insurmountable hills through negotiation and empathy.

Peace is a sacrifice. It requires extreme vulnerability. It is paired with unassaured outcomes. It is a close friend of loss.

Peace is a rigorous endeavour. Taking extreme energy and force, it stands in the face of ruthlessness and does not budge. Peace wipes its brow as it continues to take step after step towards justice.

Peace is a complex machine. It requires strategy, organization, and skill. Peace is tactical and requires unimaginable people power. All of its moving parts require regular inspection.

art on wall

Peace is an internal battle. It forces us to address our inner violent instincts and instead choose patience. We are prompted to look within and deal with impulses of fear, anger, and duty.

Peace is a saviour. A proponent of life, peace stands up for those experiencing harm, leading them to safety and flourishing. Saving can come with a cost, a cost that we mourn in community.

Peace is a means to understand. It asks, “What do you need?” and “How can I lighten your burden?” It tries to get to the heart of things–to determine interests, positions, needs, and values.

UN trip 2022

Peace is a lofty goal. A utopian place of harmony and belonging. Peace is both the melody that is too high to sing and the drum beat that keeps us all in tune. Peace fights for its place in the world, even if no one is on its side.

Peace is a way forward. It doesn’t allow us to stay stuck in spaces where we are demobilized. Peace helps us imagine a new world. Allows us to see beyond barriers such as veto power, hate, and bureaucracy. Peace is about seeing the humanity in the Ukrainian, the Russian, the American, the Canadian. It is about holding onto hope in an ailing world."