The United Nations International Day of Peace is celebrate each year on September 21. At noon people all around the world take a moment of silence for the simple prayer: “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”
I think sometimes we can get hung up on the concern that really, what difference does one person’s actions make? But I don’t find that’s a very helpful way to look at it.
I believe we are each called to live our lives in ways that uphold the values that express who we are and what is important to us. We don’t have to do this in grand, elaborate, or hugely populated ways; although of course if that delights and inspires you DO IT!
I know the power of words and intentions. And I like my rituals small and intimate. Complex and big just aren’t my style. So I keep a small peace pole on one of my altars. I pass it each day and am reminded to take a moment and offer a prayer, to send a thought, to find a way to incorporate more peace into my world so it is anchored more firmly in the collective around me. I take great heart from the Chinese proverb that says:
If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.
I like that. Small and sustainable. One step at a time, each of us making a difference in our little corner of the universe.
Maybe you want to include a few other people in your actions. Your family perhaps, your kids. Maybe you want to plant a peace pole on your property or help fundraise so your community can have one. A few years ago I sent out to my network a piece of mailart every month for a year on the topic of peace. It delighted to me to think about all those messages of peace winging their way around the postal systems of the world. And then each message arrived at its destination and the recipient had an invitation to take a moment to consider peace. How perfect is that?
I invite you to take a moment today to participate in International Peace Day. What will that look like for you? Please share, I really would like to know.