Here in Canada (and other Commonwealth countries) today is Remembrance Day. We wear poppies pinned to our shirts, have a moment of silence at 11 AM and often attend ceremonies to remember. It a solemn day to remember those who lost their lives protecting our freedom. It is also a day to think about peace.
Many people live lives without freedom or peace. There are always terrible things happening in the world. Often it seems as if these things are too big for us to do anything about. We can’t all help in war-torn countries, or be part of international organizations working for peace.
But we can help. You can start in your own home and your own heart. Take some quiet time by yourself or with your family to be still, peaceful. Take this peace and maintain it in your interactions with others. Be less critical, be supportive, brighten someone’s day.
Join groups or organizations in your community to help spread love and peace. Maybe volunteer, donate food, clothing or money. Or just smile at someone who looks like they need it.
Help someone in need in another country. Someone far away who you don’t know and can hardly imagine. Give money to an aid organization to help rebuild in countries hit by natural disasters or war. Buy school supplies for a kid.
Most importantly, educate yourself on what is going on in the world. Check several sources, remember that one newspaper is never the whole story and that bias and skewed information lurks everywhere. Be critical of what you hear and read. Remember what Greg Mortenson says in Three Cups of Tea, “Ignorance breeds hate…”. Don’t feel guilty about living in a rich, free and peaceful country. Instead use what you have to help those who need it. The world is an unbelievably interconnected place. Yet we often feel so far from people. We can help spread peace to all parts of the world through support and compassion. We need to be role models of peace to children and to the world. You need to take that peace in your heart and spread it around the world. Every day.