Well, not only is it Friday (which in itself is a minor holiday around this office) but it also happens to be International Peace Day! A day created by the UN back in 1982, this isn’t a holiday persay, but an encouraged action that countries can take and run with on this day. Ideally, the UN hoped that this would be a day where all combat would cease for 24 hours to recognize and appreciate human life a little bit more. Which is an initiative that sounds pretty reasonable, and very worthwhile, at least as far as I’m concerned.
All over the world countries are participating in various activities, be that art installations that promote peace, talks by world leaders regarding bringing peace to warring nations, or rallies at universities to bring attention to local violence on and off campus. But for those of us who aren’t near any of these functions, there are still small ways to participate. The universal symbol for the day is the dove of peace, and the easiest, most unobtrusive way to help bring attention to the day would be to wear a dove lapel pin. They’re classy and gender-neutral and let the world know that for what it’s worth, you’re for peace.
Other great ideas include volunteering at a homeless shelter or an animal shelter, to help those less fortunate than yourself. You could hold your own little rally, start an online group to connect with other people trying to instigate peace locally and globally, or even just set goals for yourself when it comes to how you treat those you disagree with, and how to better handle yourself in times of dischord.
The most important thing though, is to just participate in some way. Peace is only as possible as the people who want it to happen. Wearing a dove lapel pin proves you’re an ally for peace, and may get others thinking about their own actions and the actions of those around the world. A little bit at a time, we can change the hearts and minds of those who choose violence, and perhaps someday International Peace Day won’t be so much an awareness cause as it will be a true holiday, celebrating how far we’ve come.