Today is International Peace Day, also known as World Peace Day. This is the day that the countries within the United Nations officially acknowledge that all people of the earth have the right to live in peace. This year’s theme is Partnership for Peace – Dignity for All. A call for a universal ceasefire is put out by the United Nations to all disruptive factions worldwide. This is only a hope however, and unfortunately not a reality within the most troubling areas of conflict.
I seriously doubt that ISIS, for example, is aware that the world is asking for a day of peace, or even gives a Shiite. Nonetheless, it is far better to call for peace than to ignore its ever present need. This international recognition gives us an opportunity to remember those who currently don’t know peace and brings more focus on how to bring it to them.
World Peace Day begins with the ringing of the Peace Bell located on the roof of the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The bell is made up of coins donated by children from all the UN nations (except Africa) and was presented as a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan as a reminder of the many lives lost through the horrors of war.
When you think of peace do you think of it as something ‘out there’ – removed from your personal space? Do you think of it in terms of military interaction or a lack of tribal conflict? Is world peace just a term that seems so elusive that it isn’t even a concept that you bother to seriously entertain? Do you subscribe to the thought that there’s little we can do as individuals, and only the mega powers of the world can make peace?
So many people feel dis-empowered at affecting peace that as part of the UN’s peace initiative an educational program was established in 2013.
“Peace education is the process of acquiring the values, the knowledge and developing the attitudes, skills, and behaviors to live in harmony with oneself, with others, and with the natural environment. “
The Peace Education initiative gets us closer to realizing that the world is actually one massive collection of humanity and not just separate pockets of people with entirely different agendas. Generally, we all want the same basic rights, to live free, with a true sense of security. The Peace Education program believes people are capable of sharing, exchanging and honoring one another when given the skills. Peace Education is delivering messages of how to find non-violent alternatives for managing conflicts. It’s about acquiring the ability to see many sides of a conflict, and not just the one that serves one segment over another. Most notably, it brings brilliant minds together to find solutions.
With horror stories leading so many headlines, peace seems to be allusive for hundreds of thousands of people. So do you ask; is it pointless to celebrate a day acknowledging International Peace? In this author’s opinion it is in fact more pointless to ignore the possibility that we could live in a world of peace. Dwelling on the possibilities rather than the and what is needed is to look for those situations and circumstances that are embodying Peace. In the words of John Lennon; “Give Peace A Chance.”
Do you practice peace on a daily basis? Do you consciously strive for inner peace that holds a frequency which effects the whole? Leave a comment below and let me know your experiences with International Peace Day.