Call for Peace and Sobriety: Celebrating International Peace Day

The challenge in celebration of the International Day of Peace is not only to put a stop on armed conflicts and impending wars. The challenge is to also help individuals, groups and parties find their peace from within, peace in themselves, and peace in their relationships.

The International Day of Peace is celebrated worldwide every 21st of September of each year, with the intention of “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples.”

In the past couple of months, we have seen tensions rising between superpowers and neighbouring countries over territorial disputes and cultural differences among many other issues. However, the world has found an unseen enemy disturbing not only the peace but moreover the lives of people all over the world with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amid the above-mentioned conflicts, dissent and word wars have been prevalent more than ever in the Philippine social media environment. Despite calls for unity amidst the pandemic, many individuals, groups and organizations remain obsessed with unnecessary destructive criticism and propagation of false news and propaganda. In the absence of productive engagements and as a result of personal frustrations, a lot have polluted the social media space with toxic views and negativity.

Our voices are important in the battle against COVID19 but these voices should be used to heal diseases, not inflict harm on others; educate and inform people on the virus, not use information to promote hatred against others; bring peace and tranquillity in our lives, not create further division in a crisis.

In the same manner that the United Nations invites all nations and people to "honor a cessation of hostilities during this day," we call on each one of us, peace-loving individuals, to promote peace through words and actions. This means a reflection on the choice of words when we express opinions or perspectives especially that are contrarian in nature. This means seeking apology when we have wronged against others and granting forgiveness when others seek our forgiveness. This means using our words as a positive tool for change and peacebuilding.

The challenge in celebration of the International Day of Peace is not only to put a stop on armed conflicts and impending wars. The challenge is to also help individuals, groups and parties find their peace from within, peace in themselves, and peace in their relationships.

 

 

 

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About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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