Watford Bridge of Peace

Women Ambassadors for Peace in the Family and the Community Watford Bridge of Peace.

When I was very kindly asked by Françoise to say a few words on this special occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Bridge of Peace, she outlined the topic ‘Women Ambassadors for Peace in the Family and the Community’. I started to think about what I could share with you today. I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but I mostly get my inspirations when I am either in the bath having a soak, or on the school run for my daughter. I got this particular inspiration while on the school run!

Today, we have women Presidents, Prime Ministers and Chief Executive Officers, but are things improving for women as a result of women being in leading roles? I want to touch on the responsibility of women, as they are the ones who bear the children and educate and nurture the next generation. In that respect, the woman is the one, who is the centre of love, as she nurtures her children and cares for her husband and the environment.

Where do we learn about love? It is first and foremost from our mother and within the context of the family.

On this occasion I would like to briefly touch on our philosophy. We say that ‘The Family is the School of Love’. It is there that one gets to practise the true meaning of love. Within the family there is the opportunity to experience the different types of love, which we call ‘The four spheres of love’. The crucial qualities of a Child’s Love, is where the child learns Respect & Gratitude The primary virtues of Sibling’s Love, is where brothers and sisters learn about Harmony& Purity Then we have Spouse’s Love of husband or wife, which is where Fidelity & Commitment are pledged to one another. Last, but not least, comes Parental Love, where parents show Investment & Compassion for the children.

Peace is rooted in the principle and practice of ‘living for the sake of others’. True and lasting peace has its base in the family, which is ‘the school of love’. It is there that we gain the tools and learn skills to deal with the community. We learn about compassion, justice, righteousness, truth and True Love. It is in the family that peace begins.

Our school of love should be our family, our first teachers being our parents. The family is the place where we start nurturing our heart and character, and is the principle training ground for relationships. The family is also the school of ethics – where we learn basic social norms. It is within the family that good citizens of our community are raised, because it is where empathy begins between mother and infant. Anti-social behaviour often stems from family problems. The most important element of character education is to be a positive role model in the lives of these young people.

It is essential to empower the women in order to enable her to fulfil that crucial responsibility of contributing to, and creating a peaceful culture in her family and community. As we can see, we live in a society that is full of pain and sadness, where many of our youths are labelled with ASBOs, targeted as violent extremists, and where teenage pregnancy is on the increase. We sometimes ask ourselves what kind of society is being formed?

However, as women, we share a common heart and common experience because we are daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers. We share the same joys and we share the same heartaches. This shared and common heart allows us to connect deeply with one another, and urges us to live for the greater good. A healthy family is the best institution for peace-building and for fostering human dignity.

The recommendation is that women receive access to tools and resources for leadership towards a culture of peace and development. To grow spiritually, human beings need to receive love, truth and example from true parents, teachers, leaders and elders, representing God. We can respond and grow by living for the sake of others and developing our heart and conscience, which in turn can guide our body to act in love and truth.

Finally, I want to congratulate ‘Watford BOP’ for the efforts you have made to develop ‘Sister of Peace’ relationships. We need each other and we respect our differences. Let’s continue to invest ourselves for the greater good of our families and the communities.

Thank you very much for listening and giving me this opportunity to share my heart with you.

Thank you.

Written by Mitty Tohma


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