Today is the UN’s International Day of Peace

Today is the day that the United Nations has set as the International Day of Peace. I’m involved with a number of groups that are honoring this day with prayers and meditations and such, so I did a number of peace-related activities this morning as part of my morning spiritual practices. That was lovely, so I started the day off feeling very peaceful and empowered.

Later, I read the news, and the first news item I read was that Russian President Putin was going to start “mobilizing,” i.e, drafting, Russian citizens to join the war against Ukraine. And that made me cry. It was such a drastic contrast between what I want to happen on this day and what is actually happening.

As those who know me know, I’m OK about crying. I do it a lot, although mostly about happy things that touch my soul. So I cry, and then I say, “OK, what am I going to do about this?” As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in the quote in the picture above carved into stone as part of the MLK memorial in Washington DC:

“It is not enough to say, ‘We must not wage war.’ It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace.”

The first thing I did was to donate some money to humanitarian aid to Ukraine. That is not, perhaps, waging peace, but I believe at least it offsets some of Ithe harm that at least one current war produces. Standing for peace does not mean denying the reality of war in our current circumstances.

At the Cary Downtown Farmers Market (which regular readers know is one of my most important community connections), for several weeks we had a community table sponsored by a Ukrainian support non-profit called Razom for Ukraine (www.razomforukraine.org). This organization, organized by Ukrainian immigrants (many if not all of whom still have family in Ukraine), is mostly focused on getting food and medical supplies to Ukrainians suffering from this military conflict, along with supporting families who have children with disabilities to evacuate to safer locations. I gave them money when they were at the Farmers Market, but gave an additional donation today.

This is a Triangle NC organization that I can endorse, having spoken to the organizers and experiencing their sincerity. But there are many, many others. I just encourage everyone, if you are able to, to donate some money to something related to your vision of peace, because in this physical world, money does matter.

My second act was to write this blog post. I needed the UN to remind me to focus on peace today. I hope my readers will do so as well. Peace is a light in the darkness, and the more we can pass it on, the more light we can generate.

My third act was to resolve to post about this for the next few days. I can’t say, I can’t even process, everything I’m feeling right now about the act of waging peace. So one Peace Day isn’t enough for me. I promise to post a few more blogs along this theme.

My fourth act, which really I should have thought of earlier, was checking out the UN’s International Day of Peace website. Their theme this year is “End Racism. Build Peace.” They have a lovely animation of the Dove of Peace building a nest of diversity. Check it out, along with much more informed information about the peace movement, at: https://www.un.org/en/observances/international-day-peace

Finally, to end with an experience of inspiration, referring specifically to the UN theme of ending not only racism, but all “ism” prejudice , I share this video of a familiar song by the group Pentatonix: https://youtu.be/NLiWFUDJ95I. I don’t know about you, but it made me cry…but it a good way.

I invite you all to do something today to contribute to creating a world of peace, however that looks for you. I welcome your suggestions or activities in the comments.


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