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Peace Day: A Living Instrument of Peace
an article by Louise Diamond

In 1981, the United Nations established the International Day of Peace - one day set aside every year for people from all over the world to focus on 'the celebration and observance of peace.' That day, September 21 every year, is fast approaching.

In its original declaration of this Peace Day, the UN used the phrase 'a living instrument in the service of peace...' A 'living instrument' suggests a tool that is alive to its own potential for effective action; fully aligned with being used in the best possible way, for the highest possible good. To be 'in the service of' means to give one's small will over to a larger goal; to work for; to give one's all to.

Therefore, to be 'a living instrument in the service of peace' I give myself - my skills, my time, my effort and action - to realizing the great vision of peace on earth that we all hold so dear. No single action can fulfill such a vast vision by itself, but the combined acts, over time, of more and more of us can make a huge difference.

A vision without action is empty; action without vision is aimless. A vision celebrated with purposeful action is power-full. We CAN change the world. We CAN shift our society from a culture of violence to a culture of peace. We CAN make peace the organizing principle of our collective presence on this planet; make peace the way we live. We can do this, if each of us will do our part.

There are several wonderful national and international events celebrating Peace Day that you can participate in. Among other things, you might take a Peace Pledge; organize your faith community for a 24-hour prayer/meditation vigil; or encourage local or global leaders to honor a daylong ceasefire from acts of violence. I refer you to the following websites for more information on these and similar activities:;;;;; or


Question(s) related to this article:

How are you celebrating Peace Day?,

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Latest reader comment:

It is difficult to find extensive listings of the many events celebrating the International Day of Peace around the world.  An exception is the United Religions Initiative which lists events for the IDP 2014 by their affiliates in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Russia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, United States and the Philippines.

This report was posted on August 30, 2003.