Inner-peace is important for a holistic functioning individual as it allows one to think positively and to focus clearer on the internal self and external environment. The numerous factors which affect a peaceful environment (physical, socio-economic, biological and political) either impact positively or negatively on both the individual and the economy.
The physical factors include disasters either man-made or natural and exhibit a cataclysmic impact upon the environment which disrupts peace completely. It results in the loss of biodiversity, water and sanitation problems, famine and a significant imbalance of the natural ecosystem upon which climate change thrives. War propels a country into a much deeper abyss; the darkness of the division of a nation. The forces of mother nature are the most powerful in devastation and depletion of resources which far exceeds the country’s ability to recover.
The demographics of a country are evident by its socio-economic and psycho-social factors which generate divisions within race, religion and ethnic communities. The endemic poverty is evident by the almost 1.3 billion people who currently live on less than a dollar a day. There also exists a strong association between violence, poverty and unemployment with an increase in the incidence of women and child rape and abuse.
Health must be perceived as not only a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being but also a state of spiritual well-being. The body is congruent with the mind and cannot be dissociated if peace is to be attained.
Leadership and politics can serve to unite or divide a nation. A country’s stewardship has the greatest challenge of ensuring the optimal healthcare of its citizens. As the guardian, the stewardship is held accountable and responsible for the good governance, equity and democratic rights of its citizens.
Thus the prelude to peace is best understood and promoted by virtue of a public health approach with a primary focus on the prevention of the negative impacting variables rather than the solution. Peace is strength and must be nurtured for inner peace and a positive environment to flourish.
Note: This abstract has been presented at the International World Peace Conference on 7 September 2013 where for the first time ever, Nirvadha Singh has introduced Peace as a Public Health Initiative. She was awarded the title of Ambassador of World Peace (Shantidoot) in Pilani, Rajasthan, India during The International World Peace Conference (7 September 2013) for introducing peace education into health care and community activities.
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