World Peace Day 2010

Let Peace begin with me – let this be the moment now!

A line from the song, Let There Be Peace on Earth

Tomorrow is World Peace Day!

Also known as the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21 is celebrated around the world as a time dedicated to global peace with prayer services, concerts, candlelight vigils, festivals, community events and conferences. Begun in 1981, Peace Day is a time for people of every faith and fellowship to call one another not only to military ceasefires and diplomacy, but also to kindness, civility, tolerance, spirituality, nonviolence, protection of human rights, cessation of hate speech, and — more than anything else –humane lives for all children.

Again this year, I have had the joy this month of being part of the Art of Peace Festival in Belton, Texas, an event that features visual and performance art in the name of peace: paintings, pottery, pinwheels, publications, singing, folk music, poetry and stories. The event, founded by my friend, University of Mary Hardin Baylor art professor Helen Kwiatkowski, benefits the Children’s Advocacy Center of Central Texas. At another September event, the Langdon Review of the Arts in Texas weekend held in Granbury, I was treated to an amazing peace concert by Texas singer-songwriter and children’s activist Sara Hickman. Here at home, my nightly reading has included Peace Words, a collection of excerpts from speeches given by Nobel Peace Prize winners. In between, I have witnessed dozens of acts of personal attention to children, youth and families. What a blessing this month has been!

As inspiration to others whose hearts yearn for a more humane world, I want to share the poem I wrote and read for this year’s Art of Peace Festival. As the title suggests, it is an invitation. I hope you will accept it!

An Invitation to Peace

Start early.

Leave the house

of your hopelessness.

Wear only clothes

that are comfortable.

Go calmly to the home

of those who you think

might hate you.

Knock softly.

Carry a small gift

suitable for sharing.

Greet your host

with words of peace.

Upon entering,

remove your shoes

and your grudges.

Take the chair

that is offered to you.

Eat what is served.

Listen to stories

with the delight

of a child. Laugh,

at yourself.

Stay as long

as you need to.

Promise to return

the favor of friendship.

Keep your promise.

Anne McCrady, 2010

We can make a difference. In celebration of World Peace Day, I urge you to open the door of your heart to the precious children of the world. They are our future – our job is to create the space for them to enjoy its blessings. Here are some other links you might check out!

United Nations International Day of Peace

Peace One Day

World Peace Day (wikipedia)

Art of Peace Festival

InSpiritry Links to Peace

When We Practice Peace, We Can Be a Blessing!

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