World Peace Day: Peace For All and War For None

Author: Sherry Helms

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.”

                                                                                                          — Jimi Hendrix

By proclaiming September 21 to be celebrated annually as the International Day of Peace a.k.a. World Peace Day, the United Nations Organization has summoned all the individuals, groups, organizations and nations to work in cooperation for bringing peace worldwide. Dedicated to peace, this day is specifically directed towards ensuring the absence of war and violence.

To inaugurate the day, the “Peace Bell” is rung at UN Headquarter (in New York City). The bell is cast from coins donated by children from all continents except Africa, and was a gift from the United Nations Association of Japan, as “a reminder of the human cost of war”. The inscription on its side reads, “Long live absolute world peace”.

Today, on the International Day of Peace, let’s remember those who have contributed in some ways to bring peace either region wide or nationwide or worldwide. We’ve compiled here a list of 5 selected yet popular Books by and on some of the Nobel Peace Prize winners, revealing their peace-oriented intelligence and works. This is our way to support, as an organization, this peaceful celebration of humanity and non-violence across the world.

Now, what you need to make your contribution in the same is to read out the following books and borrow some noble ideas from great Nobel Peace laureates -like Mother Teresa and Dalai Lama– and then, use them to initiate your own endeavor towards peacemaking.

Mother Teresa’s Lessons of Love and Secrets of Sanctity by Susan Conroy – A moving first-hand account of Mother Teresa –the Saint of the Gutters, and her work, written by someone who worked by her side. Through this book, author Susan Conroy, an idealistic young volunteer, takes us closer to the holy spirit of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who spent her entire life in serving the poorest of the poor. She came to write this epic after having spent a summer serving in one of Mother Teresa’s orphanages and in the Home for the Dying. She mentioned, “In a city where I found hell on earth, I also found each day a deep sense of peace and incredible happiness.” Also, included in this book some striking photographs that have never been seen before now – photographs that show Mother Teresa at her everyday best.

Ethics for the New Millennium by Dalai Lama – In a difficult, uncertain time, it takes a person of great courage, such as the Dalai Lama, to give us hope. This peace-oriented book by Dalai Lama presents a moral system based on universal rather than religious principles. Its ultimate goal is happiness for every individual, irrespective of religious beliefs. Though the Dalai Lama is himself a practicing Buddhist, his approach to life, and the moral compass guiding him can lead each and every one of us –Muslim, Christian, Jew, Buddhist, or atheist– to a happier, more fulfilling life.

Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage by Richard Stengel – The editor of Time maga­zine, Richard Stengel has brought us the peacemaking approach of Nelson Mandela, a Nobel Peace Laureate who liberated his country from a system of violent prejudice and helped unite oppressor and oppressed in a way that had never been done before. In this book, Stengel recounts the moments in which “the grandfather of South Africa” was tested and shares the wisdom he learned: why courage is more than the absence of fear; why we should keep our rivals close; why the answer is not always either/or but often “both”; how important it is for each of us to find something away from the world that gives us pleasure and satisfaction –our own garden.

Kofi Annan: A Man of Peace in a World of War by Stanley Meisler – In this thoughtful, balanced biography, former Los Angeles Times foreign and diplomatic correspondent Stanley Meisler traces Kofi Annan’s unconventional rise from optimistic student to striving personnel and budget specialist in the United Nations bureaucracy to full-time manager of the world’s crises. The book presents a unique portrait of this widely admired Nobel Peace Laureate, along with Annan’s own view of events tempered and augmented by those of his allies and opponents, defenders and detractors. One, who is working towards bringing peace can trace out some points from Annan’s peacemaking strategies to apply in his/her efforts.

Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope by Jimmy Carter –  This is the story of President Jimmy Carter’s post-presidency in his own words — perhaps, the most admired and productive in the nation’s history. Through The Carter Center, which he and Rosalynn Carter founded in 1982, he has fought neglected diseases, waged peace in war zones, and built hope among some of the most forgotten and needy people in the world. Serving in more than seventy nations, Carter has led peacekeeping efforts for Ethiopia, North Korea, Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uganda, and Sudan. Highly inspirational, this book carries a hidden message that one’s peacemaking efforts should not be restricted to his/her region only but must be directed to places and people who suffer violence and prejudice.

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