The theme for 2020’s International Day of Peace, observed today, is ‘Shaping Peace Together.’ With the isolation brought on by the pandemic, that may seem harder than ever, but it will truly take togetherness to emerge as a more peaceful world.
Where unity is perhaps most crucial right now, is with regard to the climate emergency — and it is an emergency. As we watched the entire West Coast of America burn out of control, there was an added ache in knowing the wildfires didn’t have to be that bad. Thankfully, there is hope in partnerships recently formed between the Forest Service and Native Tribes to learn about managing fires using Native wisdom. At the core of Indigenous land stewardship, is an inherent empathy for Mother Earth. Their spiritual approach reminds us that our planet doesn’t care about politics, only how we treat Her….
The health of our soil is also something that can make or break our survival as a species. As an Executive Producer of the documentary Kiss the Ground (which debuts worldwide tomorrow on Netflix) I learned about the importance of composting food and using earth-friendly farming methods to regenerate the soil. As the film points out, there are practical solutions that can help cure climate change by simply taking better care of the ground beneath our feet. But it can’t just be a few of us putting these solutions into practice. We must all work together to achieve real results.
It’s also true that sometimes, before we can promote peace amongst others, we have to find it within ourselves. As someone who frequently returns to nature to seek peace for myself, I can attest to that. The benefits of disconnecting from our devices, for even a short period of time, can be very powerful. Some find calm in music or poetry, others in silence, meditation or just a good book and a cuppa.
Whatever brings you solace, take the time to put it into practice, both for yourself and those around you. When you reach a sense of peace within, your interactions with others will reflect that. You may pause before reacting negatively on social media, or be naturally gentler with friends or colleagues. A little empathy goes a long way, and that includes empathy for yourself.
The International Day of Peace was created to be an annual call for the world to respect 24 hours of non-violence and cease fire against our foes. While marking this observance each September 21st is great, why must it only last a day? Why not make it a week, a month, a year… and so forth, until we put down our weapons permanently and instead lift up our hearts?
It doesn’t seem like too much to ask for all of humanity to be kinder. To show more love and empathy to our planet, ourselves and to one another. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we’re All in this together and we’re in it for the long haul… So buckle up everyone, as there’s work to be done, life to be lived, and songs to be sung, for many more years yet to come…
The United Nations welcomes everyone to participate in their UN75 Survey.
There is also a free meditation on World Peace from The Master Shift narrated by Julian, which you can access here.
Photo credit: Julian Lennon. To experience over 9,000 of Julian’s images, follow his account @julespicturepalace on Instagram.