21 September 2006 – In New York Secretary-General Kofi Annan rang the Peace Bell, on the seared fields of conflict in Somalia appeals rang out to end the violence and in Afghanistan children flew the once forbidden kites of hope as the United Nations system today marked the annual International Day of Peace from its stately Headquarters building to the furthest flung trenches of warfare.
“For some of us, peace is a day-to-day reality,” Mr. Annan declared as he stood in front of the bell, a gift from Japan cast from the pennies donated by children from 60 nations, before driving the ringing beam into it three times,” the last time he will do so as he steps down from his office at the end of the year.
“Our streets are safe; our children go to school. Where the fabric of society is strong, the precious gifts of peace can almost go unremarked. But for far too many people in the world today, those gifts are only an elusive dream. They live in chains: a climate of insecurity and fear. It is mainly for them that this day exists.”
James: As Buddhists we know that we are interconnected with all people and things. As long as one person suffers then we all suffer. As long as one child is in bondage then we are all in bondage. As long as one person is living in fear then we are all living in fear. We are only as strong as our weakest link.
And yet, if peace is in our hearts then it is in the hearts of the darkest corner of the darkest heart as all things inter-are. That light of peace, happiness, compassion and loving-kindness might be simply a tiny seed but it is there as it is in all of us. If we cultivate peace in our own lives then that peaceful influence will grow and grow sending out radiant beams of penatrating peace that will feed the seed of peace in all beings. We can realize peace in the world by realizing peace in ourselves. Peace day is a great reminder to us all that peace exists and waits to be realized and uncovered like hidden treasure.
May we continue to work to realize universal peace.
~Peace to all beings~