21st of September every year is the World Day of Peace, as established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. This year, the theme for International Day of Peace is Shaping Peace Together. The Covid-19 crisis has placed many challenges before nations, and calls for joint efforts to provide well-being and peace for citizens of every nation, every continent, our world.
The coronavirus disease has added a new dimension to International Day of Peace. For the first time in history, people all over the world are having the same concerns about how we rebuild the world beyond the pandemic.
This International Day of Peace, the United Nations will celebrate by spreading a word about compassion, kindness, and hope in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The United Nations is urging people to stand against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred.
This year, the United Nations has changed the focus of 2020 and is calling Coronavirus as a common enemy. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations has been quoted saying, “warring parties to lay down their weapons. These are not normal times, and our responses cannot be routine. The pandemic is not just a health issue. It is having direct and troubling effects on development, peace, and security. Our global ceasefire appeal is resonating in many places and with many different groups. While distrust can make implementation difficult, I have been heartened by the strong support the appeal has received from civil society, which can influence and mobilise people at the grassroots.”
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.
The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.
Peace Inside, Peace Outside
The practice of spirituality is – essentially – the inner work of creating a life of peace, with yourself, your family and friends, and your environment, be it work, in the community and in your service for community. The teaching is the seen reflects the seer, iti drishti iti. What is seen in this world by the seer, is a reflection of what is within the seer. Everything is reflection, reaction, resound. Whatever we put out, comes back to us. And this includes whatever we put out by way of feeling, emotion. For us to experience a world of peace, we need to be peaceful, ourselves.
Activities and attitudes that are peaceful and inclusive are calmness, concentration, endurance, purity, self-discipline and self-respect.
We may say that self-satisfaction within reflects peace inside and outside. Self satisfaction corresponds to learning to live together, and we become emancipated from dependence on others for our values, our support, our guidance. Self-satisfaction is also seen in intrapersonal and interpersonal social relations, and social competence. If we are not at war nor discomforted by what we find within ourselves, then we are not going to be discomforted nor at war with what we find and experience in others. Nonetheless, the inner guide, the conscience, which is nearest to the Soul (atma) and gains over 80% of its illumination from the Soul, remains the guide to practice of dharma, right conduct, in relationships. We may experience a sense of belonging, a unity of faiths and an enhanced social conscience.
Flying hither and thither, higher and higher, the bird has at last to perch on a tree for rest. So too, even the richest and the most powerful man seeks rest, peace. Peace can be got only in one shop, in inner reality. The senses will drag you along into a mire, which submerges you deeper and deeper in alternate joy and grief, that is to say prolonged discontent. Only the contemplation of unity can remove fear, rivalry, envy, greed, desire – all the feelings that prompt discontent. Every other avenue can give only pseudo-contentment; a day will come when you will throw away all these play-things and toys and cry, “Lord! grant Me unruffled peace”.
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