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Headline: A Culture for Peace  
Status: Archived
Byline: 2nde 3  
Author: Barbara Dieu
Lead: Read here what Sergio, Tatiana, Grace, Carolina, Caroline, Benny, Raphael R., Eleonora, Phil,Joe and Andrea have to say in their statement about peace for the Time project...  
We live in São Paulo, Brazil, one of the largest and most populated cities in the world, and unfortunately one of the most dangerous and violent. Everyday as we leave our houses we risk a hold-up at a traffic light. We have never experienced a war situation but for us this is perhaps very similar to one…

The main reasons for the violence within the city are the enormous social and economic differences, unemployment, drug abuse and impunity. There's rural exodus towards the city, which is the most modern in Brazil. You can find here everything you'd dream of so this attracts people from other regions of the country. They think they'll manage here. However, most are uneducated and do not have the necessary skills. This added to the economical situation and shortage of jobs makes them superfluous. As a result, they establish themselves in shanty towns, beg on the streets and the children start taking drugs and robbing. They exercise violence because a different kind of violence was exerced on them…exclusion. All these problems and the size of the city also creates tensions and stress which is converted into violence in

many homes. Much of the money the tax-payers give to the government is diverted from social ends by corrupt politicians . So the society is given a minimum and the result is what we have. There's also a

feeling of helplessness. Many people feel they cannot do anything and blame the government for everything.

However, we believe we can establish a culture of peace if we all work towards it. The population must be mobilized, active. There are organized groups who help in communities, voluntary work sponsored by different organisms. We don't give much importance to things we do every day and we feel they do not count much.

Yet, details are the most important. The relationship between people must be that of tolerance, respect, trust and wanting to help. At home, at school, we should cultivate politness towards each other, we can start listening to each other, discussing subjects without fighting to impose your idea blindly but trying to sort out arguments. At school , for instance, while talking about this, two colleagues had an argument and started a fight. This happens because of lack of communication and because people do not like to admit they may be wrong. Some men in our country also have a "macho"culture which makes them believe they must show they are the strongest when they are challenged. On a personal level only education, a control of our violent impulses and an awareness of the other can stop this. People could also get more involved in their communities to help those in trouble. It is the government's role to assure that laws are respected , there's no impunity and that the tax money is used correctly and invested in the needs of the society.

Peace like freedom must be exercised, incorporated into our everyday routine in the smallest things we do.The price of peace as that of freedom is eternal vigilance .  

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