Sweet sixteen...

by Christina

Yesterday we talked about world peace and what that means. The comments were inspiring and uplifting. All of you have continue to demonstrate that world peace stems from each one of us choosing peace albeit there are multiple approaches. Just like the way in which everyone has developed their own version of the Project Peace cowl, we can create peace and make peaceful choices in a multitude of ways.

Searching for more information on the topic of peace I feel as if I've opened Pandora's box. The magnitude of resources and organizations focused on peace is amazing. Who knew? In 1984 President Ronald Reagan signed into law the bill creating the United States Institute of Peace, a government agency. I had no idea. There are grants and fellowships focused on peacebuilding. You can even earn a doctoral degree related to peace.  

One agency I found, The Peace Alliance has a plethora of resources on cultivating peace. I love their motto "Be the Movement. Take a Step for Peace." For me this provides a direct link between walking and peace. They've identified 5 cornerstones of peacebuilding. 

  1. empowering community peacebuilding
  2. teaching peace in schools
  3. humanizing justice systems
  4. fostering international peace
  5. cultivating personal peace

And see, right there it is, cultivating personal peace is a key part of this process. With peaceful lives we are then able to extend a hand to others, our families, friends, communities, and domestic and international organizations/causes. We have to remember to not overextend otherwise we'll revert back to unpeaceful  behaviors and choices. We can only help others in the name of peace if we have peace in our hearts. 

First keep peace with yourself, then you can also bring peace to others.
— Thomas a Kempis

Peace tip #16...

As a result of the peace-along you know the importance of fostering peace in your own life but you feel compelled to do more. What can you do? The 5 cornerstones of peace as defined by the Peace Alliance provide a structure for thinking about where you might play a role. The following quote also lends itself to suggested approaches.

Peace, to have meaning for many who have only known suffering in both peace and war, must be translated into bread or rice, shelter, health and education, as well as freedom and human dignity.
— Ralph Johnson Bunche (1904-1971)

Spend a few minutes today thinking about one way you might be able to assist others in need of peace. Jot your ideas on a piece of paper and place this someplace meaningful so you'll be reminded of it daily. 

To help you get started I've brainstormed a few ideas. Perhaps you want to knit for others, identify what and who you might provide with your knitted gift. Perhaps you make a monetary contribution to an organization that supports peace or provides assistance to victims of violence (e.g. natural disasters, war). Maybe you identify your local food pantry and volunteer to assist with meal preparation. Why not find a nearby assisted living facility and visit the residents...listen to their stories, find people that knit or used to knit and want to tell you about it. Several of you have mentioned knitting in public seems to soothe others around you, perhaps it's as simple as that? What if knitting were taught in schools with a message of peace? The kids could make simple hats that could be distributed locally, regionally or even sent to an organization that distributes knitted items around the world (see below). 

There's a non-profit organization called Knitting4Peace based in the US that might interest some of you. Knit for Peace is a similar UK group.

Please leave your ideas in a comment. If we document everyone's wonderful ideas it might provide someone else with an action item. 

And I know how much all of you like songs so I found another relevant one for today's theme. It's a blast from the past. Listen to the song and think about if and what you might want to do to extend peace.

Peace be with you...