Is an 'International Day of Peace' Even Worthwhile?

I’m sitting here trying to figure out whether I care that today is International Day of Peace. I mean, really…what does that mean to you?

“Peace” is just one of those words that, for a lot of us, sounds squishy. It’s like “love” for a lot of people—age of Aquarius wimpy-gimp affection that has more to do with misguided rebellion and hedonism than it does taking active, concrete steps toward lasting change.

I browsed “International Day of Peace" online and actually had a hard time finding anything that would make someone believe it’s worthwhile. It all felt really…squishy. Theoretical. But for me, words like “peace” and “love" are anything but squishy.

Too much action for eye rolls.

Peace is my team right now in one of Mosul's most destroyed neighborhoods—a neighborhood notorious for its ISIS support. We’re bringing food and care to thousands there today, opening a new clinic, and celebrating the graduation of women who’ve endured horrific abuses but are overcoming trauma in profound ways.

Peace is my friends in the photo above, pastors and imams and sheikhs sitting around a table focusing on the countless things we all have in common. They’re from Iran, the United States, Iraq, and Britain—clearly some different places—but they know that with enough creativity and coffee, they can build a foundation to support to peace among one another and the people they lead.

Peace is the work our disaster relief team is up to in Houston, intentionally bringing people of different races, religions, and political views together to work shoulder to shoulder—clearing houses, cooking food, and generally living the “love anyway” kind of life we all aspire to.

Peace is helping new businesses get off the ground for Syrian wives and widows: tailors, seamstresses, bakers, and whatever else you can think of. These women are on a mission to rebuild after war so their kids have it better.

Peace is also you, right in your own neighborhood, volunteering and serving and leaning in to love and listen across the table from someone you fundamentally disagree with.

It’s you right now, today—in Iraq, Syria, the United States, and beyond—making all this possible. So yes, today is an international day of peace!

For us, every day is.

About Matthew Willingham

Matt Willingham is Preemptive Love's Senior Field Editor and writes primarily on politics, history, general updates and visual peacemaking through photography and film.

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Is an 'International Day of Peace' Even Worthwhile?
Is an 'International Day of Peace' Even Worthwhile?
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