It’s International Day of Peace today. There is so much going on in the world to be horrified by. Yesterday I posted on facebook that I stand with Catalonia as they continue to demand a democratic solution to their dreams of Independence, but that’s not the worst thing happening in the world today – its not the most urgent, its not the scariest or the most shocking. So many things are happening and its hard to think about all of them. Here are some of my thoughts for today.
I think about Ireland on this day of peace and hope that this threadbare excuse of a WM Government don’t create something which undermines the peace agreement there.
I think about Yemen and the dreadful suffering of its people as they struggle to survive in a country torn by war and manipulated by outside interests
I think about Palestine and Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Syria, and places all over the world where there is no peace.
I think about North and South Korea and countries threatened by the posturing and the ego of its leader. I think about Trump and his belligerent speech at the UN and I too, put my head in my hands.
But peace isn’t just about war, countries, governments. It’s about people.
I think about all those people fleeing areas where there is no peace, either because of wars or political struggles or personal crisis. Someone fleeing persecution is searching for their own peace.
I think of the people in Mexico, in Japan, in the Caribbean who are living through natural disasters that we watch unfolding on the news, it will be a long time until they find any sort of peace.
I think of people closer to home, those getting up this morning facing their own obstacles to peace – loss, illness, loneliness. People isolated through society’s stigma and ignorance of mental illness or disability who struggle to find their own peace. Those people who have been affected by the terrorist attacks we have faced, here in Britain and in other countries, they too may be struggling to find peace. Those who are homeless, those suffering the indignity and fear that comes along with benefit sanctions and assessments – those people who are struggling to put food in their children’s mouths even here in Britain today. Peace eludes many of us.
Peace takes many forms, and it can be difficult to find, both for countries and for individuals. Speaking out for Peace, campaigning for Peace can be overwhelming. Stand with one place and people will criticise you for not standing up for somewhere else, someone else, everyone, everywhere and soon you can be drowning in your hopes for peace in a seemingly hopeless world.
Despite this, there is hope and it comes disguised as kindness. On this day of Peace, be kind. Be kind to people campaigning for peace, be kind to those who aren’t, be kind to the person in the shop, the office, on the bus, let someone in to the traffic. Ask someone are they ok, talk to your neighbour, don’t shout at your children when they can’t find their shoes for the fourth time this week.
What use is that? I can hear you ask. It’s not going to lead to ‘World Peace’ if I let someone go first at the roundabout. No, it isn’t. But if we practice kindness in our lives, if we care for each other, if we demand kindness from our political leaders, in their policies, in their international relationships then we might start to make a difference.
And besides, it will make us feel better and may even help us find our own peace. I’m definitely doing the not shouting about the shoes thing.
So, on today’s International Day of Peace, take a minute, find your own peace, imagine a world filled with kindness and do your bit today to make that happen.
Lots of love