By Hannah Ruben
“My passion stems from seeking world peace and finding how we can live together creatively rather than violently.”
– Mimi Kennedy
What is International Day of Peace?
International Day of Peace, otherwise known as World Peace Day, is observed annually on September 21st. This worldwide resolution was created by the United Nations in 1981 with the goal “to have the entire world observe a day of peace and nonviolence.” With so much violence, inequality and hateful acts occurring not only around the world but also in Chicago alone, it is important to spread awareness about this national celebration and use our power as individuals to promote a culture of peace.
2016 Peace Day Theme
This year’s theme is ‘The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace’. The U.N. voted on 17 Sustainable Development Goals that countries will begin implementing efforts to achieve these goals over the next 15 years. These goals were created with the mission of ending poverty, protecting our planet, and ensure prosperity for all people. A few examples include providing people with the medical care they need, access to clean water, fair pay for labor, and land conservation.
You might be wondering what sustainability has to do with peace. Sustainable development contributes eliminating the causes of conflict and will liberate resources needed for societies to develop and prosper; thus sustainable practices will provide a foundation for lasting peace. We need to meet the needs of the present to build a successful future for generations to come.
This video breaks it down:
What you can do
In order to treat other people and the environment respectfully, we must first find peace within ourselves. This can be achieved through meditation, journaling, reading, exercise prayer, etc. Choose whatever calls to you. Eventually when unsettling feelings come up, we can learn to acknowledge them and react in a mindful, kind manner. Soon you will be ready to spread your inner peace outward through your relationships, community and society as a whole. In terms of achieving world sustainability goals, the U.N. provides several ways you can make a difference from home or in your neighborhood.