In 1999, Jeremy Gilley founded the film project Peace One Day to document his efforts in creating an annual day of ceasefire and nonviolence with a fixed calendar date. In 2001, Peace One Day achieved its objective when the United Nations unanimously adopted the International Day of Peace 21 September.
Since Peace Day 2007, 4.5 million children in Afghanistan have been vaccinated against polio, and the Taliban signed a ceasefire agreement that allows UNICEF to enter the country on the 21st of September. According the UN, there was a 70% reduction in violence on the day. Peace One Day’s goal for 2012 is to see a reduction in violence across the whole world. If it is possible in Afghanistan, it’s possible anywhere.
In 2011 and 2012, I hosted blogfests to celebrate International World Peace Day, but this year, unfortunately, I simply did not have the time to prepare. It's quite a lame excuse, not having time for peace, but, alas, that is what happened. Life catches up with you, and things slip by. Important things.Things like remembering the violence and war and disease that have scarred our planet throughout history, like empathizing with the poor, ill, and oppression people across the globe, like noticing the signs of domestic abuse in those around us, like reaching out to friends we have wronged and asking them for forgiveness. This is what Peace Day is all about: stepping back and joining with humanity in an effort to love everyone, regardless of nationality, race, religion, gender, age, politics, or language.
This year, I am obviously not hosting a blogfest, but I have instead compiled a list of eight books, some very new, some very old, that promote peace and peaceful thinking. There are some novels, some memoirs, some nonfiction, but I have read and adored them all. With some, it may not be apparent at first how it relates to peace, but I promise, each book on this list is a gem and offers deep insight into what it means to be human and how understanding this teaches us how to treat one another. I hope you can find one or two books on this list to peruse and enjoy, and I hope you find comfort in knowing that others have read the same book and contemplated it, finding a new perspective on humanity through it, just the same as you.
Thank you, and peace, Aimee.
1. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
2. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
3. Order without Power: An Introduction to Anarchism by Normand Baillargeon
4. What Is the What by Dave Eggers
5. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
6. Making History by Stephen Fry
7. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
8. Life of Pi by Yann Martel