It was mid morning when I looked at my Facebook page and glanced at a message reminding me that it was International Day of Peace. My focus then shifted to reading and responding to emails and my daily routine of writing, researching and pondering articles for my blog https://eastwinglifestyle.com/ During my afternoon quiet time when I was reflecting on International Day of Peace, it occurred to me that one day was a diminutive amount of time to devote to World Peace. How did I contribute to this dedicated day? I honestly did not know what events or services were being held in Chiang Mai where I live to recognise this international day. Were my actions and behaviour any different on this special day to other days throughout the year? Was I at peace with myself and my family, my friends and the people I encountered throughout these 24 hours?
Google research told me that the General Assembly of the United Nations established this observance on 21 September each year as well as nominating a few hundred other days throughout the year to particular dedications. Some interests have more than one day of celebration, some have a whole week allocated, some depend on the cycle of the moon, others have to share their day with other nominees. Further investigation revealed that topics or concerns covered by these dedicated days of observation include: radio, sparrow, puppetry, monuments and sites, copyright, wind, widows, beer, fashion, coffee, standards, post, vasectomy, statistics, pneumonia, television, soil, mountain and more, including more familiar ones such as Mothers’ day, Fathers’ day, Women’s day and New Year’s Day.
Many people would know that International Women’s Day is celebrated each year in early March; there is no date allocated for International Men’s Day; there is a day dedicated to Rural Women. I believe everyone – men, women and children – living in country towns and on remote farms should be recognised for their outstanding contribution to the land, the environment and their communities. The challenges of rural life are the same for men and women, such as the heartache of crop failure, floods, drought, the long hours of work during harvest, loneliness, depression and isolation. How was the decision made that only Rural Women need a day of recognition? Why women’s day and not men’s day? Is this something women need and men don’t?
The staggering amount of money, time, resources and personnel required to orchestrate these dedicated days could be managed differently. Marketing companies, retail shops, card shops, postal services, event companies, florists, restaurants are just a few who reap an absolute fortune from celebrations like Mothers’ Day and Fathers” Day. It would have been a struggle for my parent’s to help their four children with gifts to give on mother’s day or father’s day every year. As an adult I would endeavour to think of a novel idea for a gift to purchase for my parents and then post it to the town where they lived; in later years I would come to realise Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day are reminders that millions of people around the world, including myself, are not parents.
I understand the importance of recognising the huge efforts that many people contribute to promoting peace and attempting to end the fighting and conflict around the world. It is interesting that 21 September can be a day of temporary ceasefire, in particular, to allow for the delivery of humanitarian aid supplies. If this can be achieved on one day, why not two days, three days, four days, every day? It is my belief that we must all attempt to be at peace with ourselves as individuals first before we can extend our actions to include our family, our neighbours, our professional colleagues, our adversaries, our children, our hungry, our poor, our refugees. Tolerance and respect for all humans are critical factors in promoting peace. Every day we must strive to lead by example, to demonstrate the positive outcomes of living peacefully and accepting everyone; we are not obliged to like all, but we must try to accept all if we are to become a world at peace.
Complacency can be an issue for customs and practices that have existed for long periods of time and may require a re-focus or new direction. Celebrations are important and vital for community spirit but we must begin with education and example if we are to trust and respect each other so that all can live in harmony. Everyone is capable of changing their thinking and every day we must endeavour to focus our thoughts and actions around world peace. Our children will learn from a very young age, so education is paramount. Instead of attempting to end the wars that are happening around the world, we must make every effort to stop the idea, the concept, the business of war.
In his article “How to Forgive and Let Go” Deepak Chopra says
At any given moment, the majority of wars and civil conflicts around the world would end if one or both sides could simply forgive. Why don’t they?
Please take time to read Deepak’s complete article –
A complete list of International Days observed by the United National can be found –
Recommended reading http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/169968.Peace_Is_the_Way