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Peace Week 2006

There will be some who would be somewhat confused at my inclination to write about International Peace Week. They, perhaps, believe that I’d care not enough about it, or that what might follow is a lengthly criticism of its causes and activities. Such thoughts are not unjustified.

I am more taken by my horoscope—the one you can see on the left-hand side of the home page of this Space, powered by Astrocenter—from the 28th of July. Don’t judge me—I don’t take such divination as true, or correct—but you will see why this took me half by shock, and half by amazement. And, just so you know, I read it at the conclusion of the day, not the beginning. It said:

Today, you will probably decide to help someone close to you. Indeed, you are concerned about one of your friends. You will probably decide to get personally involved in a humanitarian project. You are not really used to act this way. But this will give you the opportunity to learn more about yourself.

The two sentences are neither relevant nor of substance; it is the latter part with which I am concerned. You see, on that day, the 28th of July, I did decide to get involved in a humanitarian project (this one), and I wasn’t really used to acting that way. Put another way, I actually bothered to turn up to that meeting, and get further involved, and then accept a job to see if I could arrange live music for that week. And—perhaps it was because I’ve never been a peace activist, perhaps it was my lack of faith in the mediators as a group—I was uneasy about all three.

And boy, was that scary. But I had yet to discover what would come of the last sentence. My first thought was that it meant I would discover that, whatever I said, I did care deeply about peace and would find a newfound passion. Naturally, this had me a bit worried—the thought of a value rapidly changing is somewhat disconcerting, and my horoscope for 2006 did mention something about values undergoing discreet change.

That, however, is not what happened. In fact, I failed in my second job, reporting it to be unfeasible given the current situation with musicians in our school. And, in the first group I was in, that to give an assembly presentation, I contributed only ideas and refused to take a part on stage unless necessary. This decision was, ultimately, a good one, because I fell ill and was absent from school the day they gave the presentation.

That doesn’t account for what I was meant to have learnt about myself. Now, you could argue that, because I didn’t see the project through the entire way, I wouldn’t have taken that “opportunity” anyway. You could also argue that horoscopes are a waste of time. I assure you that, in this analysis, I am not attempting to promote astrology—I believe only things that are provable by observation. Even if you took the open-minded route, horoscopes in newspapers are nowhere near detailed enough for such scrutiny. But, for the sake of it—and even without astrology, this makes sense, because any new experience gives you an opportunity to learn about yourself—I try to understand what came of it anyway.

I don’t really know what I learnt. It may have been that I was right all along: I’m not a peace activist and I don’t care about the programme, even if I do share its core values and principles. It may have been something deeper, something shallower, something more general or about how I interact with people, or something different again. Whatever it is, it remains undiscovered.

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