September 21, 2017 • Rebecca Vigoren

As today is the annual International Day of Peace, we at Rice Love encourage you to take a few minutes, an hour, or perhaps the entire day to reflect on the idea of peace and how to promote it in your own life. Whether you observe this day by cultivating a sense of inner peace, or take the opportunity to promote peace in the world around you, September 21st is an excellent time to reflect and observe positivity, love, and understanding.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Peace is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”.  We implore you , as you go throughout your day, to meditate on what this theme means to you. Whether it makes you sympathize with refugees with no place to go, with war torn countries cowering under oppression, or protesters fighting for liberty and equality, this day is an excellent time to ponder the issues plaguing our world and how they affect each and every one of us.

If you want to participate, but aren't sure how, you can begin by observing a minute of silence at noon on September 21st. Carried out in each respective time zone, this, in effect, creates a “wave of Peace” across the globe. And, after an unusually tumultuous year, this symbolic gesture seems to hold greater importance for Peace Pilgrims worldwide. As fellow Pilgrims, we would like to share various other ways to observe the International Peace Day that will suit all lifestyles and personalities.

If you would like to observe the day in a personal way, there are a few different methods you can try to help cultivate a sense of inner peace. Meditation is a great way to do this, and if you aren't experienced in the art, we recommend

Kino’s Easy Meditation for Inner Peace, or one of her many other free meditation videos on YouTube. Yoga is another method you can try using to instill calm and peacefulness, and this method is great for practicing alone or in a group. Check out YogaByCandace if you need inspiration— Candace’s site has flows for all levels of experience, and her videos are free. If you are the more creative type, try incorporating themes of peace and understanding in your favorite art form, whether that be writing, painting, photography, etc. and sharing that art in whichever way speaks to you.

If promoting peace with friends and family is more your style, an International Peace Day dinner is an excellent way to go. Congregating with loved ones over good food is a great way to spark meaningful conversation dealing with normally sensitive topics. Before trying this method, it is advisable that you brief your guests on the nature of the dinner, to ensure cooperative and civil dialogue. You can also interact with loved ones through small acts of kindness. A thoughtful gesture goes a long way— an act of kindness, no matter how small, cannot be underestimated.

And, if interacting with strangers makes this day more meaningful for you, this link will take you to a list of suggestions by the U.N. for various interests and activities. Festivals and group yoga in public parks are just some of the ways strangers come together.

Above all, we at Rice Love  implore you to be mindful. Remember to be compassionate for others whose stories are unknown to us. Be mindful of the humanity in others that calls to our own. And remember that it is easier to love than hate, and that the smallest acts of kindness can make a world of difference. To all of the Peace Pilgrims out there, happy International Day of Peace. May there be love and understanding in your heart.