Tuesday, October 2, 2012

International Day of Non-Violence

Today is the International Day of Non-Violence. It is celebrated on October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. It is a day "to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence" and a day to raise the collective consciousness about peace. This can be achieved through constructive dialogues, respecting one another, understanding and trusting each other, accepting new people in society, sharing love and natural resources, and building bridges with various faiths, communities and countries.

According to Gandhi, “Nonviolence needs more courage than violence.”

I find it interesting that the day falls during the same month as Vegetarian Awareness Month, with its focus on eating a diet that is cruelty-free and non-violent.

To that end, I marked the day by cooking up a spinach stew, which was a recipe I adapted from The Peaceful Cook cookbook.

I have in my home what I refer to as my *peace wall*. It is a collection of things I have that either use the word peace or the peace sign. Too young to have been a hippie, I have nonetheless embraced the peace sign as a reminder to me to not just live peacefully, but to BE peace, an idea I got years ago from an article in Mothering magazine.

Some visuals you can create in your home with your children can be found here.

Today make every effort you can to live in peace and harmony with friends and family. Avoid or disengage from conversations and situations that become heated. Smile at everyone you meet or pass by on the street or in the hall. Step out of your comfort zone, if you must, and invite a coworker or a neighbor to lunch or out for a cup of coffee or tea, especially if they are from a different religion, political party or ethnic group than you, and take a moment to get to know them. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised to discover they are just like you in ways you never knew.

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