e a Peace Builder: International Day of Peace
To some, the idea of world peace seems cliche’, an idealistic fantasy. In the mainstream media we encounter a world awash in violence, division and the threat of mutual oblivion. We see the unrest and terrible suffering.
Most of the world’s ‘peace work’ is unreported however – in the countless NGOs working to address the underlying causes of conflict, in communities working at every scale to create more resilient peaceful lives; and in each of us who rejects violence, commits to a path of inner peace, or simply ‘touches peace’ regularly in the beauty of nature, the play of children, the wonder of a star-filled sky. Then there is the peace work of the earth itself, quietly transforming from one season to the next, growing, giving, regenerating. Peace is not a destination or a goal, it is the road we travel, or as the Zen Master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh says, ‘peace is every step’.
The International Day of Peace (IDP) on September 21 is our moment to honor all these efforts and shed light on some of them for others to see. Kosmos Journal Editor, Nancy Roof participated in the initial meetings at the United Nations to establish the International Day of Peace more than 30 years ago. Along with Kosmos author, Avon Mattison, founder of Pathways to Peace, they were inspired with the global possibility of developing non-violent means to end conflicts and establish the foundations for building a culture of peace. The IDP has grown and now there are many events happening worldwide. We have listed a number of them in this newsletter.
It is sure to be an historic day with the People’s Climate March coinciding in New York City. The connection between peace and sustainability are well documented. Peace has a lot to do with making sure communities everywhere have reliable sources of food, water and energy and can live free from fear.
International Day of Peace Events
- The theme of IDP 2014 is “Right of Peoples to Peace”.
is the official website-in-progress, so check it frequently for updates as the IDP draws near.
- Twitter presence: @peaceday and #peaceday
- Observation of a minute of silence is the key global action worldwide
Last September, Nancy Roof was invited to address the UN’s High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace. This year the honor belongs to our Project Director, Dot Maver. Dot’s address will be featured in the Fall/Winter edition of Kosmos Journal. You can read Nancy’s address here in the newsletter. We have also included an essay on the need for interfaith cooperation by Dena Merriam, essential in this climate of religious conflict.
All are invited to participate some way in this year’s International Day of Peace. Just to sit in peace, light a candle – it’s enough. And if you feel compelled to join an event, gather in a peaceful vigil, or roll up your sleeves and commit to peace work, we encourage you. It may not be reported on the evening news, but you are making history, or more importantly, building our future.