International Peace Day: We Can Each Play Part

September 21, 2016

Today [Sept 21] is International Peace Day, and a group of prominent residents is encouraging everyone to take the occasion to “remind ourselves that we can each play our part.”

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared it as a day “devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples,” and this year’s theme is “Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”

Bermuda peace sign TC generic 112321

The statement below is supported by Bishop Nicholas Dill [Anglican Church], Martha Dismont [Family Centre], Glenn Fubler [Imagine Bermuda], Rev Betty Furbert-Woolridge [Presiding Elder of AME Church], Charles Gosling [Mayor of Hamilton], Dave Horan [Principal of Warwick Academy], Kim Jackson [Mirrors], Gladwin Simmons [Spanish Town], Lucinda Spurling [Filmmaker], Jeff Baron [Minister of National Security], Walter Roban [Shadow Minister] and Gavin Smith [Chewstick Foundation].

The International Peace Day statement:

Fifteen years ago, the United Nations General Assembly, unanimously designated September 21st as International Peace Day, a time for members of the Human Family to reflect on how we inter-relate in the Global community.

In a ‘connected’ World, where we can easily see the consequences of destructive conflict, this observance takes on an even greater importance.

The observance offers two levels of involvement. The U.N. is inviting global citizens to reflect on the theme ‘Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace’ which are geared to secure the future of Humankind by 2030. There is also a hands-on level, offering an agenda to apply locally.

Gandhi reminded us all that we each have a role to play as we address the challenges of life, when he urged everyone to:

Be the change that you want to see in the world.

The Mahatma’s perspective is personally empowering in the context of Peace Day. While much of the lack of peace that we witness is beyond our direct control; we are being encouraged to make some difference where and when we can.

There are a number of ways that we all can claim that power:

  • 1. Let peace begin within ourselves. With a healthy regard of self, we learn to appreciate others.
  • 2. Coming from a place of peace, we sow those ‘seeds’ in our families, work-places, etc.
  • 3. Peace doesn’t imply agreeing on everything, but disagreeing with reverence and respect.
  • 4. Knowing that we each benefit from an extensive network of other people, near and far, our peaceful input profits all involved.
  • 5. Understanding that relations with ourselves and others, requires constant attention; we avoid taking anything for granted.

Here are some practical suggestions for International Peace Day:

  • Take some quiet time – 15 minutes or so – to reflect on the significance of Peace in our lives.
  • Reach out directly to a member of our extended family, whom we have not been in contact with for an extended period of time. Optimally make direct contact or a phone call; but at least text or email.
  • Reach out to any neighbour with whom we have limited contact.
  • Set up some time during this week to have a ‘social’ interaction with someone with whom our relationship may have been strained. [e.g. over coffee, lunch, etc]

The media is constantly full of examples that there is an urgent need to ‘give peace a chance’. It would be easy to despair over what we witness.

However, Gandhi pointed out that all of us can make a difference. On International Peace Day, let’s remind ourselves that we can each play our part, everyday.

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Comments (4)

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  1. There will never be no Peace until we have Equal Rights and Justice

  2. bdaboy says:

    “There will never be no Peace until we have Equal Rights and Justice”

    Says the person who is totally against equal rights for all Bermudians. Specifically the gay ones.

  3. drunken ursula says:

    my peace will come. if I never ever hear or see a few people!