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Posts tagged ‘International Peace Day’

International Peace Day

Today–September 21– is International Peace Day and day 3 of the Peace Blogfest.

Peace Through Connection

So what is it that can be a starting point towards peace? Common ground may be that link to understanding others and reducing fear of the unknown.  A small shared interest between strangers can open discussions and hopefully lead to other stepping stones toward friendship. A connection.

It should be a simple step to reach out to another and compare experiences shared by others. For instance, what mother can resist talking about her children and some hilarious episode. Others may have a similar incident. Common ground can be found over something as innocent as potty-training or picky eaters. This can be the beginning of a friendship, and further sharing. And understanding of differences. A connection.

Although I have been blogging for only a few months, I see the power of connection that it has. I personally would like to share more common experiences with people of different cultures. This will be my committment and effort towards understanding. I’m not that naive to expect a ripple throughout the world, with overtones of world peace, but it is something. And every little bit helps. A connection.

So look out world; I’m trying to connect to people different from what I know. If each person made one small connection, think of the possibilities!

I am a mother, avid reader, quilter, crafter, and adore my cats. If you have similar interests in a different culture, let’s make a connection and start bridging that gap.


Peace Blogfest Day 2

Peace Through Tolerance and Non-violence

I am a firm believer  that a majority of discrimination and hatred is due to fear; the fear of the unknown. Thus education of differences that are feared is crucial to understanding the actual differences. And once you have some understanding, the fear should lessen. and thus the hatred. That may be a naïve thought, but it certainly is a starting point.

Sexual discrimination has always been a part of my life, but it wasn’t until I was older and lived in other areas throughout the USA that I specifically noticed racial, religious, cultural, and sexual-orientation discrimination. I hoped that in some way I could teach my daughter to embrace diversity and try to understand that the differences in people are what makes them unique and worth knowing.

I was fortunate enough that my daughter went to an elementary school that had a diverse population. She easily became friends with children from different cultures, races, and religion. As she got older, she overheard some comments and wondered about them. I tried to explain that people are just different. Her eyes are blue, her best friends are brown, and so what.

At some point, religion stepped into the equation. Although I’m an atheist, I have always encouraged my daughter to experience different religions, become somewhat educated, and then she can make up her own mind. It often came as a shock to her that I knew a fair amount about different religions. I tried to explain that just because I was an atheist, I was not uneducated. As always, I tried to explain it was just different. Faith (or not having any faith) is something that is part of a person and all the talk in the world cannot change it. It’s as if I ask you about your favorite color. If you say blue, how can I really change your mind by telling you that you’re wrong and your favorite color must be yellow.  At least that’s how I tried to explain it to a young child.

After several years of school and friends, I am proud to say that my daughter revels in cultural differences. She is eager (maybe even obsessed) to learn how other people live. She knows French, Chinese, and is learning Japanese. Her work in college revolves around helping foreign exchange students. Her major is Asian Studies and she will probably live and work abroad.  I must commend her openness to others and thank her for bringing a lot of that home to me; I’m referring to me learning more about the Chinese and Japanese cultures. And as the world news grinds on, I am also learning about African, Arab, Afghan, and Jewish cultures (to name a few). Even at my old age, education is a critical piece for understanding others and for the future achievement of peace on earth.

And in preparation for tomorrow, International Peace Day, please see Pinwheels for Peace. Yes, you still  have time to make a pinwheel!

Peace Blogfest

I’ve joined a Peace Blogfest sponsored by Aimee at A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman. Click the button below to join and find more details. I am copying some of those details here (thanks Aimee).

In 1999, Jeremy Gilley founded the film project Peace One Day to document his efforts in creating an annual day of ceasefire and nonviolence with a fixed calendar date. In 2001, Peace One Day achieved its objective when the United Nations unanimously adopted the International Day of Peace 21 September.

Aimee’s Peace Blogfest schedule is:

Monday 19 September 2011 – Peace Through Art
Post something you have created that represents what peace means to you. This can be a video, something you drew, something you wrote (poetry, short story, etc.), a song you wrote and recorded, a picture of something you made, anything! Be creative!

Tuesday 20 September 2011 – Peace Through Tolerance and Non-Violence

Despite religious, racial, socioeconomic, or personal differences, everyone deserves respect. I know this can be a touchy subject for some people, so there are many blogging options for this day. You can do one or more of the following: discuss ways we can overcome discrimination and stop violence, describe an organization that you support that helps other people, tell about a time that you helped someone and what you learned, describe a time when someone helped you through a rough time and how it changed you, or tell of an experience in which you or someone you know was discriminated against and how that shaped your view on peace. Share your experiences!

Wednesday 21 September 2011 (Peace Day) – Peace Through Connection

Bringing people together in celebration should be the goal for this day! How do you connect with other people? How do you interact with people around you in a peaceful way? What unites people? Think about this one, and be truthful. And remember, peaceful actions don’t stop when Peace Day is over! What can YOU DO to be peaceful and to continue spread the word about peace? What inspires you to be peaceful?