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Address by Zoe youth delegate from the Canadian International School of Beijing
Date:2017-09-21    Count:3478

Address by Zoe 

youth delegate from the Canadian International School of Beijing

Greetings all, my name is Zoe, I’m currently a junior studying at CISB, and the vice president of the student council. Today we’ve gathered here in this place I’d call home to celebrate our version of peace. Of the symbolic and elusive white dove soaring over a blue sky. But…what does that actually mean?

When I started thinking about my definition of peace, what initially came to mind was the image of everyone hand in hand, standing in a circle around our planet—the almost too-good-to-be-true version of peace where everyone loves each other despite our innumerable differences. Hopefully I’m not the only one with such high ambitions for humanity. But the real and serious question, is can we—we who have the choice to take everything for granted, we with the power of the world at our mere fingertips, we free from constant worry and fear— can we understand that peace is so much simpler than that. No, peace is not the poetic and symbolical dove flying over a superficial painted background. Peace is as simple as the tears of joy of soldiers returning to their loved ones; the twinkle in someone’s eyes when you offer them a seat on the subway; the laughter of friends with different skin colors who know racial discrimination can be a thing of the past. And it’s something that’s seen everyday, right here at CISB.

With over 60 countries represented by our school community, CISB is like a microcosm of our society. With such a diversified culture and so many exceptional students, we as the student body take the initiative of strengthening our version of peace. As a proud participant in many of our school’s extracurricular activities, I can say with first-handed experience that the opportunities our school provides are what shape us into global citizens and the better leaders of tomorrow. This Saturday, CISB’s migrant children’s foundation will be going to a migrant school in Beijing to teach students English, which is one of the most widely used languages. Every week on Tuesday, the Days for girls society meet to pack and ship hygiene products to girls in conflict zones. In a couple of months, CISB’s model united nations team will be attending the annual Harvard MUN to experience what peace making is like in a real world organization. Every year in March, CISB celebrates it’s differences during spring carnival week, which culminates with the international day for the elimination of racism and discrimination on the 21st. This is our fight for peace as a school community. So what’s yours?

On behalf of the student body here at CISB, I challenge all of you today to break down the romanticized definition of peace into something more attainable, and to incorporate such a definition into your daily lives. Start small, think big, but not too big that the impossible starts to blur with reality. Be that majestic white dove, but instead of flying aimlessly and advocating for the mere idea of peace, be the actual change by making a difference in your immediate community. As the Chinese philosopher 老子 once said, “千里之行,始于足下” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Thank you.


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