BIRDS FIGHT SHOULD NOT BE SEEN AS ‘MERE’ ANIMAL FIGHT
Just after a weeklong class on Conflict Resolution Skills, Approaches and Strategies, Saturday, 8th February 2020 was the day few of us Peace Fellows visited the World Peace Initiative’s Office in Bangkok, Thailand for a quick visit and short meditation before the Magha Puja 2020.
Interesting as it was at the Peace Center, I surprisingly met a longtime friend who had once visited me in my organization’s country office to partner on peace programs. Discussing with this young man at the Peace Center created an intrapersonal conflict in my mind because on his shirt whether by coincidence, consciousness or sub consciousness was written “BLIND FOR LOVE” and indeed his right eye was seen covered as if an ophthalmologist had done an eye surgery on him. In my thinking, I failed to handle my intrapersonal conflict which somehow can lead to trauma because I didn’t ask the victim with the eye infection what actually happened.
Then came lunch period at the Peace Center; inside the compound of the World Peace Initiative referred to as the Peace Center where peace is expected to be sought, we saw two birds fighting. Birds as we know can be used as pet; bringing a bird into a family as with any pet is a huge responsibility, and it’s something that some families don’t take lightly.
It’s difficult to imagine but birds are loved by many families like the love of cattle or domestic animals by most families.
Seeing the birds as they fight, a friend told me jokingly “…but Mohamed, why should that bother us? They’re just birds and not human…” This statement created a worrying metal picture in my mind especially when the bird fight occurred at the Peace Center in front of Peace Fellows. What else must we have done in such scenario? Should we throw stones at the bullying bird and eventually become a party to their conflict? Was it good that we only looked and made fun of the situation without intervention as Peace Fellows?
People talk to their birds, whistle with them, play games, let them cuddle under their chin, etc. Following countries where animals such as cattle have created a whole community conflict that led to the loss of lives, in my thinking we should have acted! I keep asking myself; what if those two birds were pets, highly loved by their owners who are at a perceived stage of a conflict and eventually one bird killed the other?
Remember, the fighting birds we saw at the Peace Center might someday represent conflict societies where we think are very far away from us but it effects due to our inaction can someday somehow come closer to us. The world’s deadliest conflict is not one that involves arms and ammunitions but the one that many people don’t even know exists.
As Peace Fellows, it’s important to look at those two birds as representatives of two conflicting parties be it humans, communities or countries.
Mohamed Kanneh – Sierra Leone
Rotary Peace Fellow – Class 28