Wednesday, September 21, 2005

International Day of Peace

That would be today. In 1981, the United Nations declared that there should be an annual day of peace and the first International Day of Peace was celebrated in 1982. The day is supposed to be marked by a global cease-fire and personal choices that help us to build a world where sustainable peace is more than a dream.

So, here's an interesting question. Ok, it's not a question; it's a thinly-veiled comment. The original resolution to have such a day passed unanimously at the General Assembly level of the United Nations, which means that the United States voted for it. Do you suppose we'll honor it today? Sigh....

In the spirit of "a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens", we have such a day in the first place because of the efforts of Jeremy Gilley. It took him years, but he finally convinced the United Nations to consider his proposal for a single day of global cease-fire. He's documented his path in a documentary entitled Peace One Day. Netflix has it and it's worth checking out. It's a teensy bit self-congratulatory, but not too much -and it comes down solidly on the side of "yes, one person can make a difference." What's not to love about that message?

So, here's a question that's really a question. What am I going to do today to enhance the possibility of sustained peace? I don't know yet. Anyone have any ideas?

"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.... Returning violence for violence multiples violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

No comments: