What will it take to become a force for positive change in our world?

September 21 is International Peace Day, a day when all countries vowed not to wage war, hold a worldwide ceasefire and day of non-violence. In 1999 Jeremy Gilley set an intention to take action in support of peace. Jeremy founded Peace One Day; a legacy for positive change.

We’re in this together, and if we unite and we inter-culturally cooperate, then that might be the key to humanity’s survival.

— Jeremy Gilley, Founder, Peace One Day, TEDTalks lecture

The third Tuesday of September was declared the original “International Day of Peace.”[1] Peace One Day resolved any confusion on which calendar day it fell. On September 7, 2001, the United Nations General Assembly established the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September.[2]

In 2006 actions that led to positive change took place on the 21st. The World Food Programme delivered 30 tonnes of food to Southern Sudan, Star Syringe Ltd. carried out immunization programs in nine countries, and the International Rescue Committee reunited a former child soldier with her family.[3]  Imagine the creativity and energy involved to produce such results; collaboration formed the critical partnerships necessary to achieve such complex goals.

What can you do to be the change?

On September 21 you can organize to take peaceful action and watch as the positive energy and enthusiasm builds momentum for positive change. Get your creative juices flowing, check out the following list of ideas, some are simple and easy, others require some planning:

  • Take a minute of silence at 12 noon (all timezones)
  • Organize peace education events
  • Facilitate an intercultural and interfaith dialogue
  • Host a workshops on the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Meditate and pray for peace
  • Plant peace poles (similar to totem poles)
  • Celebrate by leading a community gathering
  • Arrange an evening vigil
  • Write and share poetry for peace
  • Plan a concert or a festival
  • Play soccer/football matches in the spirit of peace
  • Serve others – ‘Feasts for Peace’
  • Lead a Yoga class
  • Engage youth and veterans in peace-building activities.

If you hold an anti-war rally, I shall not attend.  But if you hold a Pro-Peace rally invite me. – Mother Teresa

Peace paves the way for positive change to occur. Why not choose to be the peace you wish to see in your relationships, communities and organizations? Let’s build momentum by tweeting about your efforts.  #PeaceOneDay #BeTheChange

[1]  A/RES/36/67, 30 November 1981

[2] United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Resolution 282. International Day of Peace A/RES/55/282 7 September 2001. Retrieved 2008-08-23.

[3]  "Story So Far", http://www.peaceoneday.org/en/about/story, Retrieved 2011-08-20In
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