Today marks the thirtieth year that Peace Day has been celebrated. First celebrated in 1982, in 2002 the United Nations General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. Maybe I’ve missed something. Where is the peace??
The intent behind the day is for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. Peace Day activities have grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, with events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day.
Again I ask, where is the peace? One need only glance at a headline to know we’ve got a long way to go.
We can’t change the past and we can’t start yesterday. We can only act in the present and influence the future. Any act intended to build peace, no matter how simple, is a start. If everyone around the world came together for one day of peace, imagine how immense the effect would be.
We must start with ourselves, knowing that anything we do to raise the collective consciousness affects the world around us.
Bearing in mind that peace is not the absence of conflict, it’s a conscious state, here are 21 ideas of intentional acts we can do today to build peace.
- Light a candle.
- Spend a moment of silence at noon.
- Re-evaluate conflicts in our personal lives. Take a step towards resolving them.
- Reach out to one other person who is unpopular, being harassed or judged.
- Initiate a team-building activity focusing on communication skills.
- Start a conversation with someone new.
- Model “peace’ behavior for future generations
- Thank those who have served to keep the peace. Sounds ironic. Wear a red shirt today and every Friday to recognize those who have sacrificed for peace.
- Thank a service man/woman.
- Mend a grudge.
- Reach out to other spiritual traditions and come together for a day of interfaith celebration.
- Learn one thing about another culture by talking to someone from that culture.
- Write a poem for peace.
- Draw a picture about peace.
- Write a blog about peace.
- Tweet about peace.
- Attend a community event celebrating peace.
- Meditate on peace.
- Go for a nature walk, meditating on peace.
- Organize a peace day activity at your workplace or school.
- Watch, listen to, read, play only that which is non-violent.
Anything we do can make a difference. But let’s make it part of our spiritual practice, not just something we remember once a year. And let’s give thanks every day for the peace so many of us enjoy and take for granted.
Together, we can create a sustainable peace. It has to start somewhere so let’s start it with us.