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International Day of Peace – can we hold onto it for more than a day?

September 21st is the day established by the United Nations to celebrate and recognize those who have worked tirelessly promoting peace around the world. On this day, there is also supposed to be an observance of ceasefire. Considering the current worldwide turmoil, my hopes are set high that this day could prove to be a needed turning point. 

I, like most people, embrace optimism as I wax poetic about the virtues of humanity and how we’re all one. Now, please don’t doubt me or others nor think of us as naïve. I find that those who remain the most prominent advocates of humanity working well together are also quite realistic and grounded. No, this isn’t a Kum Bah Yah moment. 

Instead, I prefer to think of those beating the drum of humanity and its future to be the true bellwethers. And the outlook is concerning because more needs to be done to bring us together. 

Ethnocentricity is at an all-time high; infighting among cultures is alarming with disastrous, sometimes deadly results. Prejudices and bigotry have reared their ugly heads again from where I had hoped they were buried for eternity. And politicians everywhere are stoking the flames with their agendas. 

Each day, we, as part of a world society, by our behaviors exhibited towards one another, are pushing in one direction or the other exactly where we are headed. Will we appreciate each other more? Will we embrace the diversity of our neighbors, not feeling threatened by our differences? Will we open our hearts and minds to learn from each other? Will we listen to opinions that do not mirror our own, allowing all people to have a voice? 

The most confident people with healthy self-esteem are the most comfortable with diversity…they remain true to themselves by letting others simply be who they are. 

Let’s celebrate peace within ourselves as well as celebrating others!  

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