The International Day of Peace and the Day of Non-Violence are quickly approaching, and they bring with them a restorative message for those who long to see a brighter future for our planet and the inhabitants that call it home.
September 21st marks the 34th annual International Day of Peace as established by the UN and its members. It is commemorated each year in order to reflect on the state of peaceful affairs both domestically and internationally. A day that resounds with a call for the action of inaction, for those pursuing violent struggles to lay down their arms and contemplate alternative solutions.
However, this day is not simply a call for those living in war torn countries, politicians, or insurgent groups to reexamine their approach to conflict. September 21st is a day for every individual to contemplate peaceful solutions in all facets of life. Whether this be in a relationship with the self or with another person, peace is peace.
Still, you might be thinking, I’m not a policy maker or an international aid worker, so what is it that I can possibly do to contribute to peace on a GLOBAL scale? Luckily, the UN has you covered with their newly formed Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The SDG project outlines 17 key issues that must be addressed in order to pave a path for increased prosperity around the world. These goals are designed to be universal in nature, meaning that everyone has a role to play in their implementation and success. Focusing on all 17 of these simultaneously can seem daunting or even impossible. Therefore, I find it beneficial to focus on one or two of these which invigorates you the most, whether it be environmental sustainability issues, human rights, or educational reform. If you need help getting started I highly recommend visiting this site.
Another great way to take action is to read. This may seem like a passive approach at first, but it is paramount for understanding what steps you should be taking and getting a sense of what to expect. In the spirit of Non-Violence day, which takes place on the 2nd of October, I highly recommend Gandhi’s masterpiece Hind Swaraj. Crafted in the style of a back and forth a dialogue, this book is incredibly accessible and easy to follow, regardless of one’s familiarity with India’s struggle for independence. This book is a staple for anyone who desires drastic change through means of peaceful protest and nonviolent acts, or for those who do not believe that such change is possible.
Additionally, if you are in the Waterloo Region and you would like to be involved in the local events happening for this year’s International Peace and Non-Violence Days, visit this event page.
About the Author
Taylor is a recent graduate from the University of Waterloo with an interest in pursuing a career in international law and human rights. Specifically, he would like to combat the growing industry of human trafficking as it relates to any and all forms of forced labour. He sees writing as a fundamental launching point for both the development of awareness and the ideally the action that will follow. When he is not studying or writing he can be found bingeing podcast series and playing volleyball.