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PEAK Grantmaking

Let It Begin With Me

Friends, we are living in interesting times. Supposedly, this is an old Chinese curse. But it is a very real concept as we deal with political strife, civil disorder, and extreme weather, all of which are weighing heavily on a sector focused on making lives better. We’ve had a lot thrown at us, and we’re doing well to keep our momentum at any rate of progress.

But today is International Day of Peace. The 2017 theme for this UN day of observance is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, and Dignity for All.” And, like a sigh of relief, I already feel better knowing that we’re still striving for this ideal on a global level.

Are we striving individually, though? Or are we just so worn out that we’ve given up? I have friends who have issued missives every day since November 8, 2016, about how we should be showing up in the world as activists and advocates. I imagine they are still fired up, as I am. But the flame weakens now and then, as life interrupts.

So I offer a few ideas on how to further peace through action, even when that action is small.

  1. First, do no harm to yourself. Write letters, call representatives, show up for rallies, make posters, climb flagpoles. But make sure you’re taking care of yourself, too. A weary activist is of little use when the rest of us need them.
  2. Find your moments of peace. An extension of self-care, finding our moments of peace helps us remember that peace is still possible. And those moments give us energy to keep fighting the good fight.
  3. Keep fighting the good fight. Whatever your fight is—and it should be focused, because you can’t fight for everything, all the time—stay committed to it. Stay informed, if nothing else, so that when you have the wherewithal to take action, you will know what action to take.

Today we observe a call for peace around the globe. I say we extend that observance to peace within ourselves. Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with us.