Monday, September 21, 2009

Let There Be Peace ...

Did you know that we celebrate World Peace Day on September 21st? It was initiated through the United Nations since 1982 during the third week in September, coinciding with the opening of the General Assembly. In 2002 it was decided to mark September 21st as a permanent Peace Day. On an international level it encourages the countries to participate in a day of ceasefire, while on the individual level we are encouraged to create peace in personal relationships as well.
Their motto for Peace Day is:
"Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace."

Googling peace day and peace projects brings up an array of organizations promoting peace:
Peace Corp
Peace One Day
I learned about Jeremy Gilley from a link I received from Evolution He is a remarkable young man from England who about ten years ago started this project as a filmmaker. With the help of some celebrities and a whole lot of hard work, was able to request a ceasefire in Afghanistan in order to immunize children a few years ago. Just this year he finished his amazing movie which you can watch on YouTube:

World Dream Peace Bridge
Volunteers For Peace
World Peace Concerts
Children’s Peace Funds

All these are worthy causes and most of them are worldly or humanitarian oriented. There is only one religious figure whom not so many people know about yet. He is the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, a Peacemaker who more than any other person in the world deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. His lifelong effort of peacemaking follows a somewhat different strategy. He starts with the restoration of the individual, then addresses the unity in the family, community, country and finally the world. World Peace is a noble goal, but it is impossible as long as people are still fighting within themselves.
Nonetheless, Reverend Moon also started the Middle Peace Initiative, the Ambassador For Peace Project and was instrumental in the breakdown of communism in the 1980s through CAUSA International and the Victory Over Communism movement. On his countless world tours, he conveyed 15 peace messages, which show his deep concern for mankind.
Reverend Moon's simple definition for peace is, live for the sake of others (agape love), and forgive them.

Let's end this day of celebration with some insights from a book by The Arbinger Institute "Anatomy of Peace", which deals mostly with resolving the heart of conflict:

"First of all we've talked about the two ways of being: one with the heart at war, where we see others as objects, and the others with the heart at peace, where we see others as people. And you'll remember that we learned that we can do almost any behavior, whether hard, soft, or in between, in either of these ways. Here are two questions for you then: If we can do almost any outward behavior with our hearts either at peace or at war, why should we care which way we are being? Does it matter?"
Chapter 14, page 124-5

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