Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On Peace One Day

When I was in Japan in 2006 I was invited to a local celebration of Peace One Day. I had no idea what Peace One Day was, but after a quick introduction in the car on our way there, and then a viewing of the Peace One Day movie, I begun to realize I had just become part of something big. Our local Akita celebration hardly tore down any walls, but I think that the people who participated (I know I did) felt that we had been empowered to go out in the world and spread the word about what Peace One Day is all about. That is what I am doing right now.

Peace One Day is a concept developed by filmmaker Jeremy Gilley who in 1999 decided to try to convince the world community that just one day of world peace could be the starting point for something much bigger. His initial goal was to make September 21st the United Nations official day of peace. In 2001 this was achieved, with the 192 member nations voting for adopting this day as an annual day of global ceasefire and non-violence. Peace One Day had won its first victory, but the project was not over.

Since 2001 the work of Jeremy and his organization has spread the word about Peace One Day. The new goal is to reach out to 3 billion people by 2012. Peace Day is supposed to be a day of non-violence, both between nations, within countries, and between individual people. Call me a hippie, but if we can make 3 billion people stop being violent in every aspect of their lives for just one day each year, that is one hing of an accomplishment.

This year I think the thought behind Peace One Day holds a particular meaning to me. I’m finally in the process of putting the finishing touches on my thesis. For two years I have been surrounded by narratives, images, old documents and history books – all telling various aspects of the same tragic story. The people in the Middle East has been living in a state of war, or under the threat of war, for more than 60 years. After having seen what it does to me to only hear about it for two years, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to live in the middle of it a lifetime.

The current negotiations offers a slim, but much needed hope. I can’t say that I believe it is as easy as a signed document in front of a smiling Obama (and I’m not even saying I believe that will happen). But I have to hope. One day of peace will not save the Middle East either, but again I want us to hope. Hope that each day without war will somehow make the world slightly better. That perhaps we eventually can talk about Peace One Week, or Peace One Month. That enough people will be convinced that peace is the way to go, and that war is not.

Thus I encourage you to take part in this. Spread the word about Peace One Day. Raise the awareness. Remember that if just one man could do all this, then perhaps it is time the rest of us start paying attention.


Happy International World Peace Day!
http://www.youtube.com/peaceoneday


Also - in a slightly related vein I'd like to tell you about another, much smaller project. Imagine that one good deed set in motion a chain of events that lead to a slightly better day for each person affected. In August, The Burrow invited a number of our friends to participate in a drabble cycle - inspired by a post by B. Miller - where each mini-story covers a selfless action that helps another human (and in one case an extra-terrestial) being. The Burrow Pay It Forward project will only be up a few more days before a new project is due, so I urge you to visit www.the-burrow.org ASAP to get a chance to read all the drabbles.

25 comments:

M.J. Nicholls said...

A brilliant idea. Uplifting but also rather depressing. Hopefully the warmongers might think "Hmm, this peace malarky is less hassle than bombing and killing. Let's give it a try." Sometimes it's easier to be naive.

KarenG said...

This reminds me of the book I read recently about the Christmas Cease Fire during WW I when the troops in the trenches stopped fighting. They had peace for several days before and after Christmas. In fact, the men in the trenches couldn't shoot each other afterward, and the generals on both sides had to replace them with new soldiers to keep the war going.

(I like the new look of your blog!)

Nicole MacDonald said...

Happy Peace day to you :) I heard about this on the radio today :)

http://damselinadirtydress.blogspot.com

Cold As Heaven said...

That's a good idea. Never heard of before.

I hope some time there will be peace every day >:)

Cold As Heaven

The Golden Eagle said...

That's a very good idea. We need that peace, even if it's just for a day . . .

Cruella Collett said...

Mark - yes, I can be naive that way. Imagine if we all were.

Karen - I have not read the book, but I've seen the (very good) movie. It is such an excellent point - the second we remember that there are people on the other side too, killing each other becomes a whole lot more difficult. Wish more soldiers and generals knew that.

Nicole - I'm glad that it's spreading! And happy peace day to you too :)

CAH - so do I. Even if it might not happen in our lifetime, I do think it is worth working towards.

TGE - we really do need that peace. I have been fortunate enough to never experience war - I only wish the rest of the world's population was as fortunate.

nonamedufus said...

It's certainly a worthy initiative. Things sure won't change if people continue to sit on their bums. Here's hoping...

Carolyn Abiad said...

Great post! I'm sharing it with all my friends on FB.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Thanks for writing this important blog, I hope all nations follow suit for a day of peace.

Yvonne.

Cruella Collett said...

Noname: ooops, I've been sitting on my bum all day. I really hope that isn't what is hindering world peace, because I really must continue doing so until I finish my thesis...

Carolyn: thank you so much! It is great that we can all help a little bit by raising awareness for this important initiative :)

Yvonne: thank you for reading it. I'm just glad we can spread the word.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey look, UN Day of Peace - it's right there on my calendar! I promise to be peaceful all day.

arlee bird said...

And would that include watching no movies with violence or reading anything with violence for 24 hours? Peace starts with a mental outlook.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Hannah Kincade said...

Great idea!!

Have a happy Peace day!

LTM said...

LOL! CC--the first time I read that I read it "Peace Out Day." BAH!!! :D

And I was all, Napoleon Dynamite? Then I thought of my oldest who went through a phase of signing all her little 2nd grade notes with "pease out."

I think this is a great idea. It should be Peace One and Giggles Day.

pease out~ ;p

Pat Tillett said...

Great post! Nice to see something uplifting! There's too much testosterone in this world...

Jennie Bailey said...

This is the first I am hearing about Peace One Day. I'm sad because I hadn't heard of it before, but very happy that you shared it. What a great idea. I love it!

And I also love your profile picture. It's adorable. You're radiant!

Missed Periods said...

I feel like a hypocrite talking about anything peace; Mad Max is on my TV right now. But, I am going to look into it. It sounds wonderful.

Cruella Collett said...

Alex - I'm so glad it's made its way onto calendars!

Lee - you know, it should. You're right - peace, like everything else, is dependent on people being in the right state of mind.

Hannah - thank you, and a happy peace day to you too (one day late - but why can't every day be a peace day, eh?)

Leigh - I think we could definitely use a Peace Out Day too ;) And pease out is too cute - makes me wish for peas on earth ;) (Or, as I am prone to write, peach on earth...)

Pat - while I might agree with you that there is too much testosterone in the world, I am not entirely sure an abundance of estrogen would solve anything either. I know I am ready to start wars when I get too hormonal... Perhaps balance is key?

Jennie - I am so glad I could introduce you to it, then! In the future I am sure you will celebrate in style :)
And thank you! That is so sweet of you to say (I'm having a less-than-radiant day today, so the compliment was really welcome) I really love your profile pic too, btw - that is one adorable dog!

MP - as long as you make sure Mad Max doesn't escape the TV, I think we're good ;)

Hart Johnson said...

This is a lovely idea, Mari--I wish I'd seen it yesterday. And YAY for getting to 'finishing touches on thesis' stage! You will be knocking some heads together very soon! Um... I mean showing a peaceful example of the way forward!

Amie B said...

wonderful thoughts. living peacably should be more than just a thought, a novel ideal. it should be attainable. someday...

Stephen Tremp said...

One day a year of peace would be a great launching pad. This would include being courteous while driving and letting people make that lane change when their blinker is on.

Stephen Tremp

Jemi Fraser said...

I've never heard of this before! WHat a wonderful idea! I'm going to put it in my calendar for next year so I can discuss it with my kids at school :)

Cruella Collett said...

Tami - well, technically I am writing about peace (even if it's the lack of it...), so I'm gonna try the latter approach...

Amie - and I really hope it is. I think that initiatives such as this is one way of making sure something happens, anyway. It's a start :)

Stephen - that should be a part of it! After all, peace is more than just the lack of war. Peace starts with every individual. So yes, driving politeness is a part of it.

Jemi - oh, good! Kids are such great ambassadors for things like this, because if they get enthusiastic about it they don't see the limitations adults often do. They just keep on talking with each other and family members. And they are they generation that will live with the consequences if we don't find a way of creating peace.

DLCurran said...

I hadn't heard of this so thanks for sharing. Think I'll have to share your post with the hubs.

On another note - I've left you an award on my blog. Hope you like. :)

Cruella Collett said...

Debbie - thanks for helping to spread the word :) And THANK YOU so much for the award - really made me very, very happy this morning!

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