Every Sept. 21 is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/.
“It’s a day to lay down our weapons in every conflict, from full-on wars to personal spats, and promote the ideals of peace, love and harmony. Organizations like Peace One Day use the ceasefires of Peace Day to support war-torn areas and provide much-needed care to the ravaged populations [that] aid workers can’t normally reach. For those among us who aren’t humanitarian workers in conflict zones, Peace Day is a time for reflection, commemoration and celebration.” (peacechild.org)
If “peace is not just the absence of war…,” and “peace cannot be achieved through violence …,” and “it isn’t enough to just believe in peace …,” what might we do, individually or together, to promote peace? As you will see, possibilities are limitless, creative, audacious, simple, courageous, stimulating and widely desired.
In Weaverville, Peace Day 2019 will be expanded to “Peace Weekend” during Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22, in various venues. The theme is: Exploring the Paths of Peace. Peace Weekend is a free-to-all, family-friendly, peace-loving endeavor for sharing some of the many paths to peace. Details, activity times and venues will be announced as they emerge. Join us in keeping the activities joyful, free of alcohol, drugs and conflict. Come when and as you are able.
During Peace Weekend there are two ways to show support and desire for peace. First, individually or as a group, host an activity or presentation that brings diverse people together in a spirit of fellowship for an appreciative exploration of your path of peace that contributes to peace-building. (For example, showcase how your friends, faith community, or organization promotes peace, harmony, unity, at the local or your choice. A value-added activity or presentation would be one that is in collaboration with other individuals or groups, reaching out to others.
To learn more about initiating/hosting an activity, assisting with the developing activities, or to announce a time, location, and description of your initiative in the Peace Weekend schedule, contact Lisa at 623-2226.
Second, attend the Peace Weekend activities, spread the word, encourage friends to participate, imagine paths of peace for yourself. Talk about what a safe, diverse, cooperative, resilient, caring community would look like, would require.
There are 247 International Cities of Peace. Imagine the benefits of having a reputation for being a City of Peace built from determination to work together to make it so? It is not impossible. (www.internationalcitiesofpeace.org/cities-listing/).
Peace Weekend provides an opportunity to acknowledge and honor the many peace efforts, large and small, that occur daily at home and around the world and to learn about the impact peace-promoting individuals and groups can have.
Some specific ideas for supporting Peace Weekend are: assist existing initiatives, attend, spread the word on social media; assist with handouts and posters; host a portion of the 2019 Peace-Cast TV (www.peacecast.tv/ 48 hrs. of peace videos!); host a neighborhood peace party/picnic; host a cross-cultural “break-bread together table” to build bridges and expand friendships; plan a short community service project (all hands on deck!); sponsor a guest speaker, promote random acts of kindness; observe a moment of silence at noon; give to charity; encourage capable friends to host a humble or BIG activity to energize the weekend with an open mic, a concert, inspiring speakers, arts/crafts, films, prayers, forum, discussions with diverse perspectives, multi-cultural dances, workshops, story-telling, discounts, etc.
Possibilities are limitless. Find more ideas at https://internationaldayofpeace.org/ and https://peacechild.org/7-easy-ways-to-celebrate-peace-day/ and www.peacecast.tv/.