Thursday, 18 October 2012

Welcome to Growing Peace!

Most of us will probably agree that PEACE and how to create more PEACE is one of the most important topics in today's world. Interestingly enough, it is also a topic that has global and personal implications at the same time. In fact, personal peace (or the absence of it) seems to have a strong impact on global peace (or the absence of it) and vice versa.

The good thing about this interconnectedness: we all can, individually, contribute to creating more global peace because our personal peacefulness will affect the world!

I therefore would suggest we all work together to create - or "grow" - more PEACE in this world - every single day for the rest of our life. One way of doing this, is, I think, to make more and more people become aware of the importance of PEACE and to encourage them to contribute to a peaceful world. Special events that are dedicated to promoting PEACE are among the many things we can do to raise awareness about this important topic.

FDU Vancouver has therefore organized special PEACE events for the past 3 years. 

Here a link to our 1st and 2nd FDU Peace Symposium and Fair:

Our 3rd FDU Peace Symposium and Fair will take place on Friday, November 23rd, 

from 2:00 to around 8:00 pm at FDU Vancouver, 842 Cambie Street.

I would like to invite all of you to contribute to the event and to GROW WORLD PEACE together with the rest of us!

We will have a 1st planning meeting on Friday, November 2nd, at 2:00 pm at FDU in Room 136.
Please come if you would like to be involved in a more active way!

This year, we would like to focus in particular on 3 areas of creating more PEACE:

1) Creating Global Peace through Cultural Sharing
2) Creating Peace with the Environment and with Other Species
3) Creating Inner Peace

Here some further information about each of these areas:

1) Creating Global Peace through Cultural Sharing

Hostilies and conflicts between different nations, countries, races, and cultures seem in most cases to be caused by fear of the unfamiliar "other," whose actions appear to be "strange," "unpredictable," and therefore "threatening." The consequence: prejudices and stereotypes arise that label the unfamiliar other as "immoral," "inferior," "uneducated," or "evil." The prejudices and stereotypes are in most cases based on projecting negative self-images onto the other. They therefore say more about the characteristics of the ingroup than about those of the cultural "other." However, the fact that the "other" is not known well increases the fear and makes it difficult to counteract the existing prejudices and stereotypes.

If people learn more about the "other" cultural, racial, or national group, they will soon discover three things:

a) that in reality the "others" are very similar to them, and that the differences are only minor differences 

b) that these differences are interesting and fascinating, and

c) that becoming familiar with the "other's" ways of life, including customs, ceremonies, music, art, literature, language, philosophy, political ideas, religions, festivals, clothing, housing, food, etc opens up new perspectives and insights that are extremely valuable and that enrich one's own life.

The "other" is no longer feared but admired and loved - and hostility is transformed into admiration and friendship.
One way of creating more global PEACE consists therefore in sharing aspects of our own culture freely with people from other cultures so that they will come to understand - and love - it as well! 

Particularly easy to share - as well as easy to appreciate - are: music, dance, visual art, literature, festivals, ceremonies, clothes, and food.

2) Creating Peace with the Environment and with Other Species

The mechanistic world view that has dominated many (in particular Western) societies for several hundred years now and that has made many humans believe that everything around them is dead matter that can be exploited and destroyed without any further consequences has led to global warming, climate change, pollution, loss of habitat and species, and other irreparable damage everywhere in the world. It has also tempted humans to torture, injure, kill, and exploit other sentient beings - beings who share not only over 90% or even 99% of DNA but also the same consciousness with them - in horrible ways in the food industry (dairy, egg, and meat production), fur and leather production, laboratories (not just for the advancement of medicine but also for the sake of lipsticks, dish soap, and other cosmetics and household products), as well as in circuses, zoos, and so-called "sports," and thus inflicted unbelievable suffering on other beings. 

If we want to survive as a species we do not only have to change our damaging behavior dramatically during the next weeks and months - and, if we have, years - in order to counteract the destruction of our environment. We also need to change our world view and adopt the new scientific insights about the primacy of consciousness over matter as well as abiyt the interconnectedness of everything with everything else.

Many organizations have done detailed research about the damage that has been done & suggest what we can do as individuals to act more responsibly in the present and future.

Here some links:

Organizations that focus on Environment and Wildlife:

Organizations that Focus on the Wellbeing of Animals:

c) Creating more Inner Peace

We usually pass on our emotional state to those around us. If we are angry, we yell at our mom - or the cashier in the supermarket, if we are happy, we smile at the person in front of the line-up and maybe make his or her day. It is therefore crucial to transform destructive emotions (anger, fear, grief, despair) into emotions that will make us as well as those around us happy and well. Of course, different people need different things to create inner PEACE. However, there are some things that have proven to work for many: creative expression, exercise, energy work (such as reiki and acupressure), breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation. Creating balance and harmony inside thus becomes the key to creating a happier, healthier, and more peaceful world outside us as well.

I would like to encourage you all to try some of the techniques mentioned above in order to become more peaceful inside. Your new state of being will be catching - and magically spread to the world around you!

Thank you - and I hope to see you all at our 1st planning meeting on Friday, November 2nd, at 2:00 pm - and then, of course, on Friday, November 23rd at our FDU PEACE CELEBRATION!

In the meantime, please share your ideas about peace as well as the projects you have planned for our 3rd FDU Peace Day here as a comment!

Thank you,