Each year on September 21, the International Day of Peace is observed around the world. The United Nations has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and ceasefire.
In a world full of conflicts and challenges, the prospect of peace can seem very remote. True peace is a world where all living beings are safe and supported. Where all members are treated equally and can flourish. Where we truly respect and care for each other, finding our common humanity beyond any differences that may exist between us. A world where compassion and empathy overcome greed and cruelty – and where we live in harmony with each other and with our natural environment.
Finding peace within the storms
In many ways, we are far from these aims. Yet that doesn’t mean that we should despair.
Peace is a choice that we can make at any moment. And it starts within. No matter what is playing out, inside or around us, we can choose to find a peaceful stance inside ourselves. By treating ourselves with love, kindness and acceptance and taking time to be present, we cultivate a peaceful quality within our minds and bodies.
This practice helps to balance our nervous systems and support our spirits. It also equips us to be calmer and more centred, even when surrounded by chaos or challenges. When we meet events around us from a peaceful inner space, we can better ride their waves and create meaningful change. And we can inspire and support others to do the same, producing a ripple effect that spreads out into our wider community.
World peace may not come overnight. But in this way, we take significant steps towards it. By finding peace within, and extending it around us, we create glimmers of hope, connection, kindness and tolerance – of a better way of living, working towards peace for all.