January 1 is designated at the World Day of Peace. It is a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church and was established in 1967 by Pope Paul IV. Generally, the pope uses it to give a message about social issues of the day. In years past, some of the messages have been entitled, “Fighting Poverty to Build Peace,” “To Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation,” “Non-violence, a Style of Politics for Peace,” and the 2018 message, “Migrants and Refugees, Men and Women in Search of Peace.”
Although specifically a Catholic holy day, the first day of the year is an appropriate one to think about peace. Our world can be a very troubled place, and to set aside at least one day to think about peace is a good thing.
If this seems like a hopeless thing, r a dream, there are ways to start small to promote peace. Here are a few ideas.
- Work on your own inner peace. Peace starts within. Become aware of your mood, and direct it towards peacefulness. Meditate, or stop to breathe deeply or focus your thoughts.
- Look for ways to spread kindness to friends, family, coworkers, or even strangers. Pay attention to what would be helpful to those closest to you.
- Try to balance work and life. Don’t spend so much time making money that you forget to live.
- Watch out for prejudice. We all have them, but the more we can eliminate prejudice and see people as simply people, the more we will treat folks as human beings.
- Choose your attitude. We may have no control over circumstances, but we do over how we react to them. If we react with calmness, it will add to the peace in the area.
May today and all of this year bring you peace.
Quotes about peace
The arms race can kill, though the weapons themselves may never be used … by their cost alone, armaments kill the poor by causing them to starve.–Vatican statement to the U.N., 1976
The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. “Love they neighbor as thyself.”–Eleanor Roosevelt
Civilization and violence are antithetical concepts.–Martin Luther King, Jr.
The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations.–David Friedman
Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.–Mahatma Gandhi
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children… This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.–Dwight David Eisenhower
Five enemies of peace inhabit with us–avarice, ambition, envy, anger, and pride; if these were to be banished, we should infallibly enjoy perpetual peace.–Petrarch
I would like to see every single soldier on every single side, just take off your helmet, unbuckle you kit, lay down your rifle, and set down at the side of some shady lane, and say, nope, I ain’t a gonna kill nobody. Plenty of rich folks wants to fight. Give them the guns.–Woody Guthrie
If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work.–Thich Nhat Hanh
There is no way to peace, peace is the way.–A. J. Muste
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