A reminder that peace is never a final accomplishment; it requires a constant discipline of persistence and overcoming obstacles:
232. There is no end to the building of a country’s social peace; rather, it is “an open-ended endeavor, a never-ending task that demands the commitment of everyone and challenges us to work tirelessly to build the unity of the nation. Despite obstacles, differences and varying perspectives on the way to achieve peaceful coexistence, this task summons us to persevere in the struggle to promote a ‘culture of encounter’. This requires us to place at the center of all political, social and economic activity the human person, who enjoys the highest dignity, and respect for the common good. May this determination help us flee from the temptation for revenge and the satisfaction of short-term partisan interests”. [Meeting with Authorities, the Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of Civil Society, Bogotá, Colombia(7 September 2017): AAS 109 (2017), 1029]
Violent public demonstrations, on one side or the other, do not help in finding solutions. Mainly because, as the Bishops of Colombia have rightly noted, the “origins and objectives of civil demonstrations are not always clear; certain forms of political manipulation are present and in some cases they have been exploited for partisan interests”. [Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Por el bien de Colombia: diálogo, reconciliación y desarrollo integral (26 November 2019), 4]
Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, there are two forms of violence. First is a mischief-making, of tearing at the fringes of one’s surroundings, merely because one can. Second is the slow burn of frustration when hopes are dashed, often unjustly.
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