September 21st, International Day of Peace
~ 2017 theme ~
“Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.”
The UN’s theme for this year’s Peace Day is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.” “This theme is based on the TOGETHER global campaign that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.
We can instill respect, safety, and dignity for all in our communities- including migrants and refugees- by first changing how we, as individuals, treat each other. We can use kindness as a daily tool to change our interactions, negative thoughts towards others, and our prejudices. While a process, kindness can become an ingrained habit quickly. Kindness creates ripples of far-reaching positivity. In addition, one can create a culture of kindness and peace through perhaps creating spaces that bring everyone in a community together, regardless of national origin. This could include organizing a weekly community dinner, movie night, etc.
We can extend instances and gestures of kindness to the end of supporting “diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants” by putting more tangible change into motion through civic action. One of the most important things average citizens can do is get involved in local government and volunteer for organizations that support this cause and/or others that create a culture of peace through acceptance in local communities. Attending public government forums and volunteering for advocacy groups are examples of this. Non-migrant individuals can use their privilege (citizenship, language fluency, home ownership, etc.) to advocate for the rights of migrants and refugees and be an ally to people of all races, religions, and national origins.
Peace Day is devoted to honoring and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and people. World Peace day serves as a reminder to humanity that our mere existence is to be in the service of peace and should be commemorated as a day that our over-arching commitment, above interests or differences of any kind, is to spread peace. Our generation is desperately aware of the problems currently facing humanity. Hunger, poverty, social inequality, and environmental degradation are only a few examples of these issues. International peace day intends to provide more peace to future generations. This day is a reminder to strive for the peaceful world we all yearn.
The United Nations General assembly declared this day to strengthen the ideals of peace worldwide. And all people in the world are called to join in one minute of silence and prayer for peace. At 12 o'clock noon in your time zone, please pause for a moment and reflect on peace. Feel peace in your own heart. Pray for peace for your family, community, nation, and the entire world. Our thoughts are more powerful when joined with the synchronized prayers of others, so as the noon hour falls upon each time zone around the world; you will be joining your own thoughts for peace with the prayers of perhaps millions of others. In this way, we will create a mighty way of peace around the entire globe.
Please invite all your friends and family to join in this global creation of world peace. Use your social media accounts to help spread the word. Invite everyone to say a prayer for peace at noon this Thursday, 21 September 2017. Consciously creating peace in the world is more critical than ever for our families, our nations, and even our survival. One minute of your heartfelt prayer may be the tipping point that ushers in a new era of peace and safety for our planet. You can make a difference! Join us in this global prayer!
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi!