Peace Starts with the Rotary Youth Exchange Program

Christopher - Louisville, Ohio
Entered on May 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe that understanding is the key to world peace. I believe that the more understanding and tolerant one is the better view or perspective one will have on their life and of others.

In August around the beginning of my senior year of high school I met with photographer and long-time family friend Denny V to photograph a head shot of myself for the school’s yearbook. We were talking just about everyday things and then he asked if I was interested in traveling. Of course I said yes and he asked if I would be interested in becoming an exchange student. Again I accepted and I discussed it with my family for the next week or so and we all agreed that it would be a great experience and that it would do nothing but prepare for what the future had planned. From then on out I went to rotary meetings and overnighters and I met with inbound exchange students. The really changed how I saw the world. The exchange students ridiculed the rumors and stereotypes that the average American has about the world and in its place left the want for me to understand more about the world and that the people in this world are all living for the same reasons. We all live so that we can learn, understand, and enjoy the years that we have been given on this earth. The reasons I have stated don’t seem to hold up for everyone though, as some are distracted by war, terrorism, and racism. What I have seen, as I have had the opportunity to be with teens from around the world has really opened my eyes to new possibilities and to a different view of the world. I believe that some day there will be world peace and that it will be that it will be the greatest achievement of all mankind. I believe that world peace will always be a possibility as long as the want and the need is there. I know that it is a long process and that world peace will not happen overnight and maybe not in my life time for that matter but isn’t a great thing to believe in? I say this because I know this and so do all of the American ambassadors and ambassadors Worldwide of the Rotary Youth Exchange. Together the world will make peace and until that time I will still believe in it.

If anyone does not believe that world peace I ask you to reconsider your belief. I say that because I guarantee you that if you spend one night talking and spending time with the inbounds that are a part of the Rotary Youth Exchange you will completely change your mind and in a positive way.