Contemplating peace initiates a flood of quotes from various cultures and languages, from different languages’ words for peace — paix, paz, shalom — to Buddha’s admonishment that “selfishness is the real enemy of peace.”
On the threshold of International Peace Day on Sept. 21, For Goodness Sake invites the community to the fourth annual Truckee Tahoe Peace Day Celebration on Sept. 20, which includes a morning meditation and afternoon of music, exhibits, and additional family-friendly activities focused on promoting peace.
Thirteen years ago, the United Nations officially declared Sept. 21 as International Peace Day. This annual day of global non-violence and ceasefire was created by Wendy Gilley, a British woman, and her son Jeremy Gilley, who founded Peace One Day, the UK-based organization that promotes and supports International Peace Day and other global peace efforts. Yet, amid perpetual war, international peace remains elusive.
“It’s very difficult to try and get nations and people that are in conflict to stop everything and be peaceful,” said Andy Hill, director of For Goodness Sake. “It does have to start with us … When we’ve found a ripple of peace, then we can be a lot calmer, kinder, and patient in crisis, or everyday life.”
The Tahoe Truckee Peace Day Celebration begins with the Meditate for Peace Marathon from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., hosted at For Goodness Sake and offering meditations like Yoga Nidra for Peace and Tai Chi Chih For Inner Peace. The celebrations move to the Community Arts Center in downtown Truckee from noon to 5 p.m. Starting with Yoga for Peace with Shari Beard at noon, the event includes kids activities, booths and raffles, and performances by InnerRhythms dancers and local school choirs. For Goodness Sake will also announce this year’s recipient of the Truckee Tahoe Peace Award, a recognition given to locals who personify peace.
“The idea is to encourage people [to] exhibit peace in every element of their lives, in interactions, in projects they might do in the community, and how they affect people,” Hill said of the award. “If you’re in the presence of someone who’s not peaceful, you can feel the agitation. In reverse, if you’re around someone who’s very peaceful and calm, then you feel it. It expands out.”