In a world that seems increasingly more volatile and uncertain, spreading peace—even simply within our own families and communities—is vitally important. Every little kindness helps right the balance, and knowing that we have the power to choose peace over conflict means we can truly change the world, even if it’s just our small part of it.
International Day of Peace, also often simply called “Peace Day,” is observed around the world each year on September 21. Established in 1981 by a unanimous United Nations resolution, the day is devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideal of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.”1 Peace Day provides a global opportunity to contribute to building a culture of peace, which is exactly what our world needs so badly.
Encourage peace in your heart, home, and community by inviting your family, friends, and neighbors to get involved in activities like these on September 21:
- Observe a moment of silence. At 12 noon your local time, join people around the globe for a Minute of Silence/Moment of Peace. By participating in your own time zone, a “wave of peace” will be spread across the globe throughout the day.
- Practice mind-quieting exercises. Meditation and other mindfulness-based activities can help still your mind, bring peace to your day, and allow you to spread that same calming energy to those around you.
- Teach tolerance. Tolerance allows us to coexist peacefully. If you are unwilling to accept and respect someone else’s differences—be they physical, cultural, political, or religious—it becomes easy to believe that another person is not like you in any way. And that makes it easy for relationships—and entire communities—to dissolve into chaos.
- Mend fences. If you’ve had a falling out with someone in your life, reach out and try to make amends. Even if your gesture isn’t well received, the inner peace you’ll feel knowing that you tried is worth the effort. It can help you move on, knowing you did all you could.
- Hold a vigil. Invite friends of all faiths and backgrounds to join you in a candlelight vigil for peace. You could opt to say prayers that represent the faiths of all people in attendance, share readings from the Universal Peace Federation, or sing songs about peace. For practical advice on how to host a vigil, visit Love to Know.
- Have a “feast for peace.” Gather friends and family members together for a peaceful potluck meal in celebration of your beautiful differences and your common humanity.
- Plant a peace garden. This could be in your own backyard or, if you have permission, in a public space like a community park or on the lawn of a place of worship. Visit Joy Us Garden for advice on the best flowers to plant in a peace garden.
- Advocate for peace and human rights. Write letters to public officials encouraging them to fight for things like economic equality and an end to racism.
- Spread peace through volunteerism. Helping people in your community and around the world by donating your time or money to charities is an important way to bring security, comfort, dignity, and peace into the lives of others. Visit MyForesters.com to find out about volunteer opportunities right in your own community.
- Get creative. Create peace-themed art, poetry or writing and share it with those around you. Encourage others to join you, especially children.
Perhaps one of the most important things you can to do honor the occasion is to set an intention to choose peace all day long. That means choosing to be peaceful in your mind and in every interaction you have. Having that mindset will help bring peace to you and to those around you all day long.
For more information on Peace Day, including more ways to celebrate the day, visit The United Nations.
417740 CAN/US (09/19)