Peace Begins with Me and You

Featured Community Voice: Megumi NishikuraPeace and media activist Megumi Nishikura is currently pursuing a master's degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. In 2003, Nishikura documented the anti-Iraq war movement in New York City. Captured in the following video, that experience has led her on a spiritual journey to spread peace.


The film uses a combination of documentary, narrative and animation. View Larger >


Anti-war protest in New York City, 2003. View Larger >

"Practicing Buddhism and Hinduism, I discovered that meditation and mindfulness are the seeds of inner-peace. Grounded in my spirituality, I started volunteering, holding my elected officials accountable and raising my voice in protest. I have come to believe that women, empowered and supported by their spirituality, can bring about remarkable change."

A Transcript of Nishikura's Film NarrativeTwo days after the war in Iraq began, thousands were out on the streets of New York, protesting. I was out there with my video camera and, for the first time, I saw people who could no longer stand by and watch what was happening without their voices being heard. I stood among angry souls and sad souls, and souls who yearned for peace, and their passions kindled within my heart a desire to spend my life working for peace.

When I was seven years old my parents took me to see Pearl Harbor. As I looked at the sunken wreckage of the USS Arizona, I was shocked to learn about the atrocities of the Second World War. How could two nations that created me have been in a war with each other?

Growing up in a multi-cultural family, love and laughter was always abundant in my life. Although my grandparents had fought on opposite sides of the war, their love for me held no animosities of the past. My sweet memories show me that peace knows no boundaries of race, culture and religion.

It is because of the beautiful people that have touched my life that I am standing here today at this protest in Los Angeles, two years after the war in Iraq began. There have been too many losses on both sides of the war. And I need to know: What will it take for us to have peace in this world?

Gandhi once said, "There is no way to peace, peace is the way." To me it means if we want to see peace in our external world, we must begin to find peace in our own lives. Peace comes to us in the moments when we quiet our minds and go within. It is then we begin to listen

And when our hearts are full, it becomes time for us to act with compassion. And we can no longer be afraid of yesterday's definitions of love. We must learn to let go of the labels that separate us. It is that which keeps us locked up in illusion. Behind the façade is a human being, who, just like you and me, wants to live life in peace.

We can no longer thrust peace on the shoulders of our politicians. We must take individual responsibility. The seeds of peace are within us, within our hearts. Peace begins with me and you.

Donate Online »

Explore By Topic