Every year, the United Nations observes the International Day of Peace on September 21. Anticipating the end of the Covid-19 pandemic, the theme chosen for 2021 is “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World”.
The UN’s website notes that the pandemic was accompanied by a surge in discrimination and hatred, thus, there is a call to spread compassion, kindness and hope and for us to make peace with one another.
The Brahma Kumaris (BK) is in general consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), is affiliated with several of its agencies, and has received seven UN Peace Messenger Awards.
Locally, in support of the UN, the BK facilitates and participates with other organisations in multiple peace programmes. The practice of peace is a major part of the BK philosophy, which points to integrating peace into our thinking, speaking and doing.
Peace can be practised with each organ of the body, for example, helping hands are a gift that most would accept.
Take a moment to hold a door open or greet someone with a friendly wave. If you are not acknowledged by your intended target, there could still be a positive knock-on effect for observers. At home, the hands can be used to help in the house or with outdoor projects. As a limb of peace, hands make a world of difference in the lives of those you touch.
Civil eyes see the intrinsic goodness in others. As members of the Brahma Kumaris, we are reminded in our morning meditation to look at others with goodwill and understanding.
Maintaining a positive vision in the midst of conflict contributes to peace. Being removed from life’s commotion helps, as getting too involved may trigger strong emotions that can cloud one’s judgment. The eyes can choose kindness.
Feet can spread hope. Visiting a friend fulfils an essential human requirement for companionship.
While observing the Covid protocols, one can still stroll to the neighbours or make a longer trip to see a relative. The experience of loneliness can be averted by a timely visit. Reach out and initiate communication with someone who may have become distant. People cherish and remember your going the extra mile.
There is a story about a person who sought advice on how to get a spouse to stop quarrelling. The suggestion given was to hold a bead in the mouth. In so doing, one party was silent, thus the argument ended. Speak less and listen more. Having listened deeply, one’s replies are more reasonable, accurate and supportive. With the mouth we can make peace with each other.
In the practice of peace, small things matter. Regardless of how others behave, we can choose peaceful responses. Peace is a culture, a way of life to underpin all actions. Every attempt at peace is worthwhile even if positive results are not immediate. In the push for peace everything counts, thought, word and action.