Monday, October 3, 2011

Peace Day, Every Day

Well, Peace Day has come and gone. I thought I would do something to mark the day this year, now that I know all about it—and I have this blog and everything.  I was so impressed with Jeremy Gilley’s efforts and documentaries advocating for the international day of global ceasefire.  I signed up on the Peace One Day  website and added the Peace One Day badge to my blog. I even ordered film number three all the way from England, since it wasn’t available at the library or on Netflix or YouTube.

I knew this day was coming.  I had September 21st marked on my calendar for months.  Several weeks ago, I found that there were some peace-week events around Chicago.  On Thursday evening that week, the children’s museum had some peace-inspired activities.  I thought it would be fun to go, until I remembered that Sage’s new martial arts class meets on Thursday evenings.  Oh, well.

It would have been nice to go to a concert or a meditation class on Peace Day.  It would have been something to light a candle.  Or even to tell someone about the day.  At the very least, I could have posted on my blog.

Yet, that Wednesday was just like any other.  I went to work; I came home.  Scott had a gig, so I had dinner with Sage, then made sure she did her homework, got her ready for bed and tucked her in.  I did a couple chores, got tired and went to bed myself.

And that was that.  Peace Day 2011 has passed.

But wait.  That’s not quite all.  One thing I did do was on the Friday at the end of Peace Week.  I walked to Daley Plaza over my lunch hour to check out the Chicago Peace Day Celebration.  In spite of the drizzly weather and the noisy construction nearby, there was a nice little gathering.  I stood there for awhile watching the program of speakers and music and a mini-parade of flag bearers representing all 192 UN member nations.  It was nice to see this group of diverse people united for the cause of peace, and taking it absolutely seriously.

In fact, Peace Day is a long tradition in Chicago.  At 33 years and counting, it’s more longstanding even than the UN’s International Day of Peace.  Where have I been?  Somehow I missed the gathering in previous years.  (This is my sixth year working downtown.)  But now I guess I’m more attuned to things like this, because of my blog… and because this is where my heart is.

And I don’t think I’m alone.  Maybe it’s my growing awareness, but doesn't there seem to be a new peace movement afoot?  During Peace Week, the Peace Alliance co-sponsored a free “Global Telesummit” featuring dozens and dozens of inspiring peacebuilders and peace leaders.  I couldn’t log on to listen live (what with work and everything), but I’ve since signed in to hear some of the recorded sessions.  From inner peace to international peace, and everything in between, these are some fantastic recordings. A couple of my favorites are Jane Goodall and Marianne Williamson.   

Not only that, but I keep finding more and more books and websites and organizations focusing on peace. Some people (like James O'Dea) say there's a new consciousness arising, a new kind of peace movement forming from all spectrums of society.

I wonder if it's true.

In any case, with so many opportunities to learn and get involved, I don’t feel so bad about missing one little ole day.  Every day is another chance, especially if you're looking for it.

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