Service for peace

Members of the Republic of the Fiji Military Forces march to the Albert Park in Suva as Fiji marks the 40th anniversary of the country's participation in UN peacekeeping. Picture ATU RASEA

AN article we carry today reminds us of the price we have paid for our reputation as contributors to world peace — 56 lives.

It may be just a number to some, but what a number, and what a price for a country whose population has not yet reached even a million, by our sons, fathers and uncles in uniform.

You and I, all of us, can certainly do more than just remember the contributions of Fiji’s sons in foreign lands.

It can certainly, it must be, more than just a thought. While we will not all get the opportunity to serve in uniform overseas as part of a disciplined force, the fact is we all serve in some capacity.

However mundane or trivial it might seem to be, at the top of the organisation, in the middle or somewhere towards the bottom, the responsibilities that come with the role must be carried out with diligence — just as our peacekeepers have established a reputation as such in whichever arena they have served.

Diligence, being a positive trait when practised as often as possible, will only lead to more positive outcomes or the manifestation of other positive traits, which can only be good for an individual and those they interact with regularly.

That is one of the ways, in addition to remembering them, we can honour their memory.

In that way we can also, definitely not in words, thank the families from which they came from.

In this way, it is much more meaningful and also enduring.

We have been blessed to be a country whose people are friendly and willing to share that we have been endowed with.

That is something we do almost willingly with those who are visitors to our beautiful country.

While we can still improve in that respect, it is not much of a challenge.

The challenge is being able to do so with those we live, work, study, commute, play and meet with every single day — no matter how difficult it may be given the differences among us.

It will not start as if someone threw a switch.

What someone must do, and that person is you, is to make that conscious decision — a decision to share our time, country, kind words and gestures among other things in the true spirit of giving for a better Fiji.

In this way, what our servicemen and women put themselves at risk for when on tours of duty does not have a beginning or end.

It will be something Fijians pass from one generation to the next and to that which follows.

We will not only keep the peace, we can grow with the opportunity to live in peace with all who we journey together.