Pondering peace

I was struck, while listening to President Obama deliver a speech today to a gathering of United Nations members in New York City, by several of his remarks about furthering peace and justice in the world.

Our conscience calls on us to act. Our common humanity is at stake. Peace is hard, but we know that it is possible. Together let us make peace…but a peace that will last.

It reminded me of quotes I’d pondered earlier this year at the Arizona Museum for Youth in Mesa, which are pictured throughout this post.

Parents looking for ways to promote peace, which always starts at home, are getting a little help from Phoenix Theatre’s Cookie Company – which presents a work titled “Peacemaker” Feb 11-26, 2012 at Greasepaint Youtheatre in Scottsdale.

Phoenix Theater offers this description of the work…

The Blues and the Reds have lived on either side of the Wall for decades. Interaction is forbidden, and both communities live in an atmosphere of fear, suspicion, and mistrust. But when circumstances allow Simp, a Red, to meet Bluey, they learn that their similarities far outweigh the differences.

“Peacemaker” — which is full of clowning, juggling and physical storytelling — is meant to promote acceptance, empathy and friendship.

The United Nations reports that “an International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by resolution 36/67 of the United Nations General Assembly to coincide with its opening session, which was held annually on the third Tuesday of September.”

“The first Peace Day,” they add, “was observed in September 1982. In 2001, the General Assembly by unanimous vote adopted resolution 55/282, which established 21 September as an annual day of non-violence and cease-fire. The UN invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.”

An art exhibit featuring photos of NYC children who hail from every country on the planet opened today at Park51 in Lower Manhattan. The Kickstarter-funded exhibit features the work of David Goldfield, which I hope to explore while visiting Lizabeth next month for Pace University’s homecoming weekend.

We pay attention to peace for a lot of reasons at our house, including the fact that our daughter Jennifer hopes to work at the United Nations one day. She’s an ASU student studying cultural anthropology whose current classes focus on human disease, religions of the world, and Holocaust history and the media.

For ideas on promoting peace in homes, schools, communities and beyond, visit the “International Day of Peace” website at www.internationaldayofpeace.org.

– Lynn

Note: You’ll find Arizona Museum for Youth at www.arizonamuseumforyouth.com, Phoenix Theatre’s Cookie Company at www.cookiecompany.org, Park51 at www.park51.org and the United Nations at www.un.org.

Coming up: Making peace with a purple plastic purse

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