Man Hee Lee Peace Advocate Quotes
Peace is Possible!!
International Leaders Brunch
Peace is Possible!: International Leaders Brunch
Chairwoman of IWPG Nam Hee Kim World peace may seem like a far off dream. For Chairman of HWPL, Man Hee Lee, founder of Heavenly Culture, World Peace (HWPL) and Korean War veteran on his tenth world tour as a peace activist, world peace is possible. Along with Ms. Nam Hee Kim, founder of the International Women’s Peace Group, Mr. Man Hee Lee organized an International Leaders Brunch on May 16th. Brunch attendees included world political leaders like ambassadors and politicians, community organizers and religious leaders such as ministers. Although all of these people are very powerful and influential, the speakers talked about the important roles everyday people- especially kids and teenagers- play in changing the world.
Medea Benjamin, founder of CODE Pink: Women for Peace AND Global Exchange, and international human rights organization. shared an important lesson that highlights the messages all of the speakers shared: No one is my enemy. Through talking, we can turn individuals into our friends.
Tarek Elgawhary of the CoExist Foundation encouraged collaboration for a peaceful world. Girls in America, he said, can be role models for girls in other nations by educating and empowering themselves. Citing Malala as an example, Tarek stated girls can’t give up and if they keep moving forward, they can make change for themselves and for future generations of girls. Girls in developing nations, Tarek continued, need to make the choice to keep going because they each make a difference.
Lola Bokini, associate executive director of the UNSECO Center for Peace pointed out that today’s youth- no longer “seen and not heard-” are the true agents of change. Although some adults complain about “kids today” Ms. Lola finds that kids have more potential and desire to create new paths for change. “Young people must be heard!” Ms. Lola summarized. In order to spread peace, the 1st ordained Buddhist minister suggested we find inner peace first. When we are happy and satisfied, we can spread our inner peace to others.
Peace advocate, Man Hee Lee pointed out that in his tenth world peace tour giving peace talks, not one person he spoke with ever wanted to be at war. According to Mr. Man Hee Lee, everyone wants peace, but it is a bigger job than he can do alone. Young people, he says, are ones who can work together to create a more peaceful world. “We do not want young people’s potential lost in war. We are all responsible for making a better world,” peacemaker Man Hee Lee summarized. Ms. Nam Hee Kim talked about the importance of women and young people collaborating to end violence. “We all exist freely,” Ms. Nam Hee Kim said “and we need to forgive each other and find happiness.” Any individual can become a beacon of peace in her own community.
After the speeches by all of the wonderful and inspiring political, religious and community leaders, I was able to speak with peacemaker Man Hee Lee and peace activist Nam Hee Kim individually. This presented a unique challenge because they speak Korean! A translator helped us have a conversation. I was able to learn a lot from Mr. Man Hee Lee and Ms. Nam Hee Kim, which shows their point: with persistence and conversation, we can turn strangers into friends!
According to peace advocate Man Hee Lee, everybody wants peace. No one wants war or violence. The problems, he says, are divisive barriers. Peace, he says, is a great responsibility and we as individuals have to want it enough to break down those barriers. Earlier in the morning, Mr. Tarek pointed out that social media highlights violence non-stop. While that is certainly true, Mr. Lee and I discussed how social media like Twitter and Instagram can help spread messages to more people. When we choose to use it, social media is a powerful tool! Young people want to make changes in the world!
Feeling inspired? Good! peace maker Man Hee Lee and peace activist Nam Hee Kim know the first step to peace is wanting it! Being aware of global events is a positive step teens can take to make change, peace activist Nam Hee Kim said. She pointed out the Nigerian kidnapping event, specifically. “We can’t see that as an isolated incident in a foreign land, people have to be more aware so we can prevent future violence and tragedy,” Ms. Kim noted. Young people are responsible for peace and education in the future! Sure, it’s a lot of responsibility, but nothing worth having comes easily.
I wrapped up our chat by asking peace advocate Man Hee Lee how we can promote peace every day. “You don’t have to be special,” he said. “I’m a man from humble origins, not a political or a religious leader. We can be a light to the people around us.”
The message throughout the whole day is an important one: although world leaders matter hugely in making the world a peaceful place, every single one of us can start simply. Make strangers into friends. Learn about others by talking to them. Find out what’s going on the world around you. Strive to be happy and kind. Through these simple actions, we can make a more peaceful globe together!