Sunday, September 21, 2014

Peace Day 2014

Dear All,

Today is World Peace Day. Please use the opportunity to reflect on various forms of peace and/or maybe do something that creates more peace in this world. Please share your thoughts and/or actions with the rest of us.

Optional: start a volunteer project that spreads peace. Please think of peace on all levels in this context, i.e. not just global peace but also peace in your community, group, and/or family, peace inside yourself, peace with the environment and other species etc.

You can also join one of the many global meditations for peace today, e.g.:

Happy Peace Day!



  1. At first glance, achieving world peace seems a daunting and overwhelming task. Initially, this goal can seem unattainable, due to the complexities and number of issues which need to be dealt with. However, it is inconceivable to believe that such issues are beyond our scope of abilities. Particularly, by achieving peace within one’s own community, it becomes conceivable to achieve peace in the world at large. By initiating small acts which can contribute to a larger form of global peace, world peace is no longer inordinately unattainable.
    For myself, achieving world peace signifies acting upon those issues which I intend to see altered on a global and political level, yet are outside my realm of abilities. For example, as a previous gap year participant, spending a year in Israel while partaking in various leadership opportunities led me to achieve a modest level of peace within my community. Particularly, a highlight of my year consisted of volunteering on Magen David Adom, Israel’s ambulance services. Despite Israel’s notorious reputation for being a country where dispute between Palestinian and Israeli counterparts is commonplace, volunteering on an impartial ambulance invalidated such claims. Moreover, it allowed me to feel as though I was aiding in settling the conflict on a personal, smaller-scale, that has the potential of being reflected globally.
    While volunteering on the ambulance, I was exposed to individuals from various walks of life who utilized Israel’s ambulance services regardless of their religious standpoint, or political background. As a member of the ambulance team, we approached every situation from a nondiscriminatory standpoint, treating the victim as an equal member of society who required immediate emergency assistance. CPR was initiated and executed professionally to both a loyal member of the Bedouin tribe, as well as a native, Israeli grandfather. Members of our team were prompt to answer calls from remote villages, those lacking funds to pay for the ambulances services, or those who had inflicted pain upon themselves. Regardless of predicament, our main objective was to address the individual, regardless of his or her current situation or social circumstance. While volunteering on the ambulance, divergent viewpoints were set aside. Victim, volunteer, and loved-ones were bound by a similar common denominator in moments of absolute anguish – a desire for life.
    It is unlikely that my meagre actions will effectively end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Biases in the media will continue to distort efforts that are being made to resolve these issues, causing increased hostility towards opposing groups. As well, due to the current divide between communities, and dissemination of negative information about opposing members of each society, peace can not yet be easily attainable. However, it is crucial to note the importance of such actions in the grand scheme of the current situation. With increasing trust between members of contrasting viewpoints and religious standpoints, it is likely that an amelioration of the current situation is possible. By initiating small acts within communities to reinstate a non-division between groups, peace can slowly be realized and emulated by future generations.

  2. What does world peace really mean and can it actually be attainable? I agree that small acts of kindness can lead to a better world by making a difference in others lives that may be struggling or who are being discriminated against. Thus, I would also add that if discrimination was somehow eliminated world peace could be established. From my own experience, volunteering in minority communities such as soup kitchens on Vancouver’s downtown east-side and by going on a service trip to the South Bronx I was able to see the world in a new light and those who have been outcasts of society in a new way. I found that those who are homeless most often just want to be acknowledged by society and be treated as normal human beings more than anything. It was not so much about the free food to them as much as it was feeling that someone actually cared enough to take some time out of their day and talk to them. The children I have met volunteering at an after school program in the South Bronx, one of the most impoverished cities in the United States, have helped me become more appreciative of what I have because they can be happy with the little that they have and by simply being in the company of the volunteers. These children have given me so much more than I could give them and I am so grateful for having this opportunity. After school programs like this one in the South Bronx give children a sense of community and belonging no matter what pressures the society around them brings. Therefore I have come to the conclusion that in order to achieve world peace one must first learn to find peace within themselves, by taking the time to appreciate the world around them and respecting everyone as a whole. Everyone deserves to be treated with human dignity with the understanding that we were all created alike in some way despite our differences. By breaking down the stereotypes in the world that exist, the world would be better able to move towards this idea of a world of peace in which everyone is treated with the same amount of equality and respect that they deserve.

  3. What is peace? Is it something that can be done, or just comes within time?
    Personally, I believe that peace is any sort of attribution of being positive, and doing something extra out of the ordinary out of your best efforts, for others. Volunteering is a great example of creating peace in the world because we are proposing an idea that not everything has to be a need to do so, not everything must have a reason to be done, not everything needs to only be done if its beneficial towards yourself. Volunteering is a kind way to show others, and yourself that we should help everyone in need regardless of their gender, age, or race. Helping others, by making time for them is a big task to accomplish; it’s a great achievement. Doing thing for others will arise you with this unexplainable feeling. When I was volunteering in a retirement home throughout my senior year at Terry Fox Secondary I realized that even though some of my Saturday nights consisted of me spending time with the elderly, giving them the care and support they need, it presented me with this tremendous feeling, and leaving me with a big smile on my face. At that very moment I knew I was spreading peace in the world, giving others laughter’s and happiness, showing them they are worth something changes their mind from being pessimistic to positive that people can change for the better. To be able to give back to the community, and make a change we must be happy within ourselves first. We must feel good about who we are, we must feel confident about ourselves. How can we provide a positive, and valuable environment if you don’t believe in yourself. So, create peace, and happiness within yourself and automatically you will be giving to the community greatly, without even knowing it. Furthermore, disqualifying acts such as, violence and racial discrimination are also great ways to encounter peace. For this to transition throughout the world something must be done, we must take a stand. We know such harmful acts such as this cannot be completely stopped but being able to stop fights, and arguments between people can be a first step that can be taken by us. For example if you are seeing someone being bullied you should prevent this by taking a stand and showing that there is someone who cares. Overall, when the word peace is brought up, the first thing that comes to my mind is that “peace” can simply be any act, which will bring the opposing person to realize “how can someone be so nice”. Peace is not just doing things for us, but rather more for others. It’s the initiation of putting a smile on others face, and getting rid of the negative environment they think they are surrounded by. It’s about making the best of what we’ve got, turning negative aspects into more hopeful, and positively conclusive ones.

  4. This is a difficult subject. Peace is relative and an opinion. It is hard to define. It is a state of something first of all. A world at peace could mean a world without war. Maybe peace is a world without hate. Many acts that aren’t considered “peaceful” can be done with good intentions. A man could steal from a grocery store in order to feed his starving family. Maybe peace means communism? The man would never have to steal in the first place, but that comes with un-peaceful downsides as well. What would motivate people to work hard for what they earn? Would people retaliate in anger? That would not be peaceful.
    Of course, if everyone agreed on communism, there would be no angry people. The truth is, though, people are all different. People have different opinions and that is exactly what makes them interesting. Differences and problems make life interesting. Honestly, if we ran out of problems to fix, what would we set our goals on? Maybe it is our nature, and it is impossible to run out of problems.
    To me, peace is inner peace. The world is full of people with differences of opinions and everyone will never agree on everything. What is possible is to be accepting of these differences. Have peace with yourself and try and act peacefully towards others. That is the most anyone can do.
    The hardest part is working together peacefully. We have groups of friends, neighbourhoods, communities, cities, provinces, countries and international relations. The differences in the opinions of the people within these systems will increase proportionally with the amount of people being added to the system. How do you make the system work peacefully?
    What I am trying to prove is that there is no perfect peace unless everyone shared the same thoughts and opinions. I am positive a world full of seven billion You’s would operate seamlessly and without argument. This is not the case and, frankly, it makes the world exciting and life worth living.

  5. Peace, to me, is defined differently depending on the type of person you ask. The person defining it has their own visions of "peace" based on where they grew up, what they've seen while growing up and how they in-vision their future to be. In my opinion, being peaceful is defined by the kindness you have in your heart when you help or talk to someone. Traits like selfishness and conceitedness can ruin peace in a society if those are the common attributes to all the people. Peace is also knowing how to solve problems without conflict. Not wanting to hurt someone just because their opinion differs from you is peaceful. Perhaps this is something that leaders of nations need to work on because of all the wars that are sparking up all around the world. They lead an example to the citizens of their country. If that is how they solve their problems, then of course everyday people will use their hurtful and violent tactics to solve their issues as well. Peace can easily be spread around to people all over the world if we had the right role models and leaders to show us the way. Just as well, peace can easily be vanquished if it is not regarded as an important attribute to hold on to when we find ourselves in a tough predicament. What needs to be done, in my opinion, is for people to sit down and talk out their complications instead of instantaneously jumping to the conclusion that weapons and/or force needs to be used. Today, we are still miles away from achieving "total peace"- if that can even be considered even a thing. It may never be possible, but I still believe that over time, with the right people rising to take on leadership roles, we won't be far away from that dream.

  6. The word peace cannot be easily defined. The meaning of peace has ambiguity, and can be looked at in a miniscule way, or on a larger scale. Obviously peace is easily attained in everyday life like being at peace with your sibling for example. When we look at peace on a much larger scale, like war, why is it so difficult to attain peace this way? I'm not sure if peace is truly achievable considering the world we live in and the differences between person to person and culture to culture vary. It is difficult to find a "happy medium" or a way that people can all be pleased and express themselves without uproar. The truth to me is that peace is in fact just a word. I'm not saying that peace is impossible, but it is impossible for peace to be permanent because we live in a world with ongoing conflict. Conflict, just like peace is not permanent. People will always be between peace and conflict, both of which being phases of an ongoing cycle. Peace is a nice thought, but an unrealistic thought. It is an ideal world to live in where every one was able to get along and value each other, but if I lived in a world without conflict, it would be odd. Conflict is good, because it generates the idea that people have different thoughts and values. If everyone got along, it suppresses the idea of individualism. Conflict reminds us that every person is entitled to their own opinion, and this is what makes our world go around. Peace and conflict is a vicious cycle, yet a cycle that makes sense. A balance of both is necessary in order to live a life being your own person.

  7. Did you hear the children’s crying? Did you hear the sound of the missiles? Did you hear the death of human being? Please stop the war, give people a peaceful living condition.
    I am a Chinese, I could not forget in the World War II there were 35 million Chinese died. I could picture the tragic scene at that time. How many children lost their parents; how many parents lost their children; how many wives lost their husbands. I am so glad I wasn’t born at that time. My grandfather was born at that time, he often told the things at time to me. When he was 3 years old, his father was forced to join the army and he had never seen him after that. His mother was so hard to raise him, and when he was 5 his mom was killed by Japanese. After loosing parents, my grandpa lived with his uncle. Fortunately, his uncle treated him very well. Till now, my grandpa still can remember the time when he lost his parents.
    Sometimes I will imagine what our future will be. It has a mysterious veil that no one is able to open it. Will it be peaceful or full of wars? Nowadays, more and more countries own nuclear weapons. What if there has a World war III? I could not imagine that when all the countries release their nuclear weapon together, if they do, then, our Earth will burst and all the human beings will die soon. I could not imagine our offspring don’t even have a chance to see the beautiful Earth.
    Please stop war, give all the people a peaceful environment. I want to see the peace doves flying in the sky; I want to see all the children live with their parents happily; I want to see a green Earth

  8. Throughout the ages, this world war is always constant. Even in the present days, wars are constant in East Asia.

    According to my Palestinian friend, the Israeli military attack on Gaza day by day, minute by minute. Genocide, a crime against humanity, war crimes, destruction and tragedy are happening in the other side of the world. Mothers crying over their lost sons, daughters crying over their parents, families crying over their lost houses and land, and entire families getting wiped off the face of the earth. We need PEACE. Please stop brutality and cruelty.

    People are sincerely from the heart crying out one word - peace. Peace can turn painful into joy; Peace is to the planet what sun is to earth; There will be no vitality if there is no sunshine shining upon us. There will be no happiness if there is no peace revolving around us.

    We love peace, and we need peace.

  9. Sustained peace is something that every person in the hope wishes for because I believe that each person is born innocent and good inside. However where they are born and into what environment and society is what shapes and transforms them therefore they are no longer a blank slate but a creation of what their society built them up to be. We can all hope and wish for peace but the greed of the man in this world is what starts war and conflicts that can lasts decades; It is the fault of our being, we are all naturally contain greed. Jealousy is what causes us to go and get what the other person has. Money is the root of all evil in the modern world but we created money so therefore we can choose to make is worthless but that will never happen. We humans can have all the peace we want but it is the want and people with power in this world which a small group choose to not have peace because it will get in the way of what they want which is money and power. Therefore the only way to have true peace in the world is to cause chaos amongst everyone which will disrupt the balance of power and therefore free the powerless and eliminate the power from the ones who have it. Throughout human history; it has been a constant struggle for power which was achieved by wars and wars were a plenty because it was the only way. In today’s world a few with power decide where a war begins and how it ends which leaves the middle men in harm and their freedom and peace is taken away. How we achieve peace in the world without creating another war is one that remains to be found.

  10. Thanks to all of you who commented on this topic! Excellent points! Thanks for sharing!

  11. War never changes. The Romans waged war to gather slaves and wealth. Spain built an empire from its lust for gold and territory. Hitler shaped a battered Germany into an economic superpower. But war never changes. As long as there is an absence of peace between nations, between people and their governments, between people and their fellow citizens, there will always be these wars. Without peace, war is always a certainty. The one constant that will forever and always exist in the absence of peace. We as a people, as a global community need to come together and solve this problem. We as a people need to be the harbingers of peace and tranquility on this planet. Without a driving force behind the fight for peace, it can never be achieved. Every one can contribute to this fight and all in our own ways. The simplest, thoughtful acts can affect someone in ways that may seem impossible and it is through these thoughtful acts of compassion and kindness that we can solve this problem of peace. The next time you are out and about, give someone a smile. This smile is a symbol of the peace that you hope to pass on. And then they will pass this smile on until everyone on the planet can look at each other and we all see a smile shining back at us.

  12. Can world peace ever been obtained in our world? There is no easy answer to this, because peace can be defined differently by each person. Peace can be defined as no violence between nations, freedom, no suffering, anything along the lines of a safer world. So can any of these be obtained? I think yes. I think even though our planet is becoming more violent, more materialized, and more selfish, there is always a chance. There may never be 100% peace brought about on our planet, but there is always ways to start.
    Individuals in our society can help achieve world peace. It doesn't have to be by means of a peace treaty between countries. It can simply be characterized by helping someone in need. In my high school years; I was lucky enough to take part in many service projects. For example, one of the first ever projects I took part in was a group called Agape. We handed out candy and supplies to the less fortunate woman of the downtown east side in Vancouver. This experience was very eye opening to me and encouraged me to continue with service projects. I continued to attend runs with this group, help out at the local soup kitchen, collected jackets from my peers at school during the winter months, volunteered for serving breakfast at a low income elementary school, and even helped out at my local SPCA by walking the dogs. I like to think that small acts, such as these, count as helping our world be a better place! I think the problem with our world today is that we have forgotten how to care for those who need it most. We are too caught up in ourselves that we haven’t realized the chance of diminishing conflict today. Every act of kindness and peace counts.

  13. Peace is defined as “Freedom from disturbance; tranquillity” in the Oxford Dictionary. However, I believe everyone's definition of peace is different. This is due to the fact that everyone has opposing views and opinions, hence why we have conflicts such as war in the world. Is there any way of having complete peace in our world today? Likely not, I only say this because there are too many clashing points of views and we can not force people to change their mind. The idea of peace is something many say they try to achieve but how does an individual do this? Although one person is not going to make everyone in the world change their ways, one person can make a difference around them. They can show leadership and be good role models for others, they can be apart of peace groups in hopes of influencing more peoples mindset.
    One is unable to pinpoint the exact meaning of peace but personally, I believe peace is dependent on oneself and how they choose to handle situations. It is how they carry themselves and the roles they take part in society, this can be something as simple as using your voice to demonstrate healthier and more peaceful alternatives to situations. Controversial topics such as culture, race, and homosexuality often cause discrepancies in possible world peace, by working hard as a whole and appropriately handling these types of situations there is a higher chance of world peace. We all must be more open minded and willing to accept new differences in order to move closer to peace.
    Although we have a long ways to go in order to achieve a more peaceful environment, I can only hope that there will be more open minded individuals who are willing to partake in world peace.

  14. Peace is the most inevitable key factor that must present in the world, and to all the innermost beings. It is the fundamental element that creates a healthy relationship between others. Without peace, there are no good relationship, nor love or joy. Yet, only conflicts exist. For instance, there is still a serious conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. They have been fighting for taking control over the land and people. This unending conflict has worsened after the long, bitter and violent history between these two peoples for more than seventy years. This year, there was a war between those two countries during the summer, which caused the destruction of their homes, economy and future. In addition, they even killed young children. It was their desires that eliminate the peace between them. However, there is only one way the conflict can come to an end, which is peace. But it is extremely difficult and impossible to solve this problem because the more time goes on, the more chance of reaching peace disappears. Ultimately, those two countries would lead into devastation. In my opinion, in order to gain peace at the outside world, we need to have, and consistently keep the calm peaceful hearts and minds within ourselves first. It is significant and essential that we must maintain serenity to build strong relationships with others, to care for and love one another. Peace has the ability to establish happiness, joy, and love, instead of bringing conflicts. Therefore, although we tend to be self-centered and greedy, a peaceable character is what we should strive for, as it is beneficial to all of us, and to the world.