Peace be with you
I can't believe that the International Day of Peace passed me by yesterday (deadline weeks are hardly peaceful), but there's no reason we can't extend one day into a whole week or longer.
The International Day of Peace coincides with the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals--which aim to halve extreme poverty and improve health, education, environmental, and other issues by 2015. While a Day of Peace is a good reminder that we in this together, we need to prove our commitment to peace every single day if we want to come close to our targets (we are currently way behind).
Most religions will remind you that peace begins inside, and that we have to balance action with prayer. In that spirit, an interfaith effort is asking people to pray for peace for one minute each day for the next year. They have a video meditation to help you along, using the Prayer of St. Francis.
If you're not a fan of that video, you can help contribute to musician Stephan Said's "Take a stand" video by posting a response inspired by the song on YouTube. Listen to the song here, part of the launch of Difrent, an online moment of artists using music to create social change. "Music has always had the power to unite people and to fire up their passion for equality and justice, and the internet amplifies that power enormously," Said, who has Christian, Muslim, and Jewish roots, said in a press release, "Now more than ever, the world needs to hear messages of tolerance and understanding, and it's my dream that difrent: will help musicians spread these voices and promote positive solutions."
How about reading a book for peace? The Dayton Literary Peace Prize has a few good recommendations. This year's winner are Zeitoun by Dave Eggers (I recently picked it up and highly recommend it as well) and The Book Of Night Women by Marlon James. Geraldine Brooks, who has become one of my favorite authors in the past few years, won the lifetime achievement award.
I hope the prayers, music, and books will bring you peace and inspire you to take action for peace as well.