What does 'Peace' Mean?

Published on 11-04-16

The word ‘peace’ originates from the Latin word ‘pes’, meaning tranquility, compact, agreement, treaty of truce, absence of hostility, and harmony. It was adopted by the French as ‘paix’ in the 11th century to refer to reconciliation, silence, and agreement. Since 1200, the significance of the word evolved to pertain to the personal emotional state of being ‘at peace’, which implies the personal state of relaxation and satisfaction. In some cultures, the word ‘peace’ is utilized for salutations and farewell like the Hawaiian word ‘aloha’ and the Arabic word ‘salaam’. In English, the phrase ‘rest in peace’ is mentioned when a dead body is buried comfortably without any troubles.
    If we have talked about the significance of the word ‘peace’ etymologically in several languages, do we know its concrete significance in our lives? We are living in a time of political turmoil and economic tensions. Violence is increasing and people are suffering. How can this violence be curbed and relative peace be attained? If every individual in every society in the international community attempts to create that state of ‘peace of mind’, that will definitely create one harmonious world. However, this is almost impossible to take place under the current international turbulent circumstances. Are we craving for or daydreaming a Platonic Utopia? If the answer to this question might be ‘Absolutely, you are leaning on a celestial supposition’, I will ask where the labyrinth to peace is in this world. I believe that an accurate answer to this question cannot be obtained from anyone. The conclusion that could impose itself upon our quotidian lives is that the world has to unarguably suffer from conflicts between contradictions. There are reasons and pretexts for many actions and reactions that take place in the world, but there are also reasonless happenings that produce victims in addition to natural disasters that may augment the pain and torment of many people. Where is peace? How can comprehensive peace be attained? What does peace mean in this world?  

This article was submitted by a POTI student.  The opinions expressed in the article are of the student's only and should not be interpreted as an endorsement by POTI.  Each student is encouraged to submit their own commentary.

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Student Comments

Congratulations sir!.

    Francis Owusu Takyi wrote on 11-07-16 at 10:44 p.m.

I agree, peace can be difficult to obtain/maintain. However, with persistent effort, I think that in time, peace will be attainable.

    Amber Deneen Gray, CSAS, CVIS wrote on 12-06-16 at 6:55 a.m.

Great writing on history and meaning of peace.

    Joel Kiditi Mapheto wrote on 06-29-17 at 6:32 a.m.

Great writing on history and meaning of peace.

    Joel Kiditi Mapheto wrote on 06-29-17 at 6:32 a.m.

It is not peace that is difficult to achieve, it is people that are making it difficult to achieve. When we yield our minds or succumb our selfish interests to collective benefits then peace is easy, very easy.

    IWAENI PAUL OLUWASEYI wrote on 07-30-17 at 4:35 p.m.

It is necessary to cultivate peace in the world, but for that to happen we have to be the first ones to sow and helping those close to us would be a good start. I desire all "pes" peace.

    CARLOS RODRIGO DOS SANTOS FARIAS wrote on 01-31-18 at 8:47 p.m.

I found this short text to be a very well written philosophical treatise. Genuine, positive peace on a global scale is most likely to remain an utopian dream, yet one worth to strive for. That said, we should not back down from even making the smallest steps toward peace. Thanks for sharing your text with us, Tamer.

    Stefan Pauly wrote on 05-20-18 at 2:55 p.m.

Thank you, Tamer Osman. Indeed, this day it looks difficult but it's not impossible. We won't give up the good fight though. Peace is one of the underrated basic human need

    Yemisrach S. Demeke wrote on 11-12-18 at 7:31 p.m.

What is peace or the state of peace is also relative a question that defies swift intellectual discourse. Should we discern peace in the absence of violence? And yet, peace is not utopian because, we all feel or are at peace when we actually are. Peace is much more of the "feeling" of it, either as individuals or societies, we can feel peace and live it when it is not thwarted by violent conflict, war and natural disasters.

    Iorsue Paul Aondona wrote on 02-20-19 at 4:21 a.m.

Peace is significantly needed in our lives. Once it's present there, it's much easier to spread it out. What you have, you give. Well done Tamer Osman.

    Oluwasijibomi Ayodeji Okubadejo wrote on 03-05-19 at 4:51 p.m.

Excellent, Tamer Osman. Peace is a vital condition for humanity and our families.

    LEANDRO CATALINI wrote on 03-27-19 at 11:21 p.m.

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