Happier, better human beings: 7 ways to make peace your way of life

International Day of Living Together in Peace is a call to action. Each of us can be a part of this peace process by living balanced lives and respecting diversity and inclusivity in our societies.

We live in a world that witnesses strife every day. Several corners of the globe are facing poverty, political upheavals and at the worst, wars against humanity. In the face of it all, can you imagine the significance of a day created to celebrate and advocate peace worldwide?

International Day of Living Together in Peace is celebrated on May 16th every year. United Nations states that the purpose of this day is ‘to pursue peace as a fundamental right’. In fact, promoting ‘peaceful, just and inclusive societies for sustainable development’ is the 16th sustainable development goal set by the UN.

While international organisations, governments and world leaders are all contributing in making long standing peace a reality, we as individuals can also pursue peace in a million different ways. Peace comes from co-existing with different communities with love and non-judgement. It comes from being happy and grateful for all that we have. It also comes from extending our support to those less fortunate than us. On this International Day of Living Together in Peace, let’s explore a few time-tested ways of building and keeping long lasting peace in our lives and communities.

Do not compare

How to live in peace might be a question that has perturbed many a great thinker, but the answer might just lie in the simplest of things. Watching a child share his toys with another sets a beautiful example of how human beings thrive when they can share their joy. Comparison, on the other hand, is a harmful habit that makes humans envious, restless and devoid of gratitude. A person who works hard and is happy from the progress he’s made is content and at peace when compared to someone who is constantly stressed by how much others achieve. Constantly setting ourselves up against others robs us of mental health, making us anxious or even depressed. So, learn to step back everytime you catch yourself in the rabbit hole of comparisons. Simply try to be your best version everyday and enjoy the life you are blessed with.

Nurture healthy relationships

In a world that is constantly feeding us with content, it is easy to get lost in the crowd of people we come in contact with on a daily basis. But it is important to distinguish right from wrong, even when it comes to the people we associate with. Keeping people who are toxic or envious of us as friends turns harmful sooner or later. We learn harsh lessons by being in their company and often find it difficult to heal from their hurtful actions for decades.
It is thus essential to understand and nurture genuine friends and colleagues as they keep us on a steady path of joy and improvement. Being around such people gives us the kind of peace that’s unparalleled—knowing we can count on their advice and support at all times allows us to become happier and better people ourselves.

Respect your boundaries

We all know that the value of saying no when we can’t do something or be somewhere is significant. It is hard to practise but saying no and respecting our boundaries are actually an intrinsic part of peace building. When people understand their strengths and weaknesses and function according to the natural rhythm of their physical and mental selves, they are much more productive and capable of contributing to the society. So, learn about yourself and respect your needs first—by setting boundaries, you will not just function better, you will also teach others how to be self-aware and respectful of their needs and wants. Doing so will lead to a community that has clarity of communication and action, much needed in our path to peace. 

Practise mindfulness

What happens when we stay fully devoted to the action we are doing at the moment? Fully breathing, fully gardening or fully immersed in the pages of a book? We are then able to stay centred and calm, enjoying the peace radiating from within. This is the power of mindfulness, a practise that teaches us to stay fully in the present moment. It takes away the overwhelming distractions that assail us and puts us in complete harmony with our mind and body. 

Stay on the path of learning

It is said there is no right age to start learning and that we can begin anytime and anywhere. A lot of us rob our own peace thinking we are unsuccessful or fit to do only one thing. Others are rigid in their thoughts and give up when things don’t go their way. At such junctures in life, it is good to remember that one can start learning something new anytime. Whether its shifting careers after years of being stuck in a role we didn’t enjoy, picking a hobby like pottery or creative writing or learning to respect diversity and inclusivity, concepts which might have been hard for us to understand once—it’s important to stay on the path of learning. Doing so keeps our mind engaged, makes us flexible and sets an example for others in our surrounding.

Show gratitude

Having gratitude does wonders for our personality. It changes our perspective from one of lacking to one of feeling bountiful. Without gratitude, our lives seem to be in a constant state of unrest, of wanting more, of feeling nothing is enough. But when we learn to look at the positive side of everything that happens to us, we build long lasting joy and inner peace. Further, when we start practising gratitude for every little or big achievement, we set an example for others to follow suit. So, take out some time each day for quiet reflection on all the things you have; friends, full meals and a good job. Entire families and communities can thrive when its individuals learn to appreciate what they have.

Share resources, give generously

American business tycoon Henry Ford once said, “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” No other statement holds as true as this for the world we are living in right now. With some communities doing well and others struggling for basic necessities, the great divide demands humanity to step up. We need to come together as skilled individuals and work towards a common goal – world peace. Our daily actions can be small but when taken together, it can all lead to the singular mission of building and sustaining peace.

So, take some time out each week and do something for your society; it can be planting of trees, cleaning of local water bodies, donating clothes and books at orphanages or teaching the children of your house help. By sharing your material and intellectual resources and being generous and compassionate towards the under privileged, you become an essential part of the peace building process. 

International Day of Living Together in Peace is not just a noble day but a call to action. Each of us can be a part of this peace process by living balanced lives and respecting diversity and inclusivity in our societies. It is only when we all co-exist with healthy mind and bodies that we succeed as a species.


When is International Day of Living Together in Peace celebrated and why?

International Day of Living Together in Peace is celebrated on May 16th each year. It is a day to support, uphold and respect living together peacefully while accepting our differences.

How to live in peace?

Learn something new, practise mindfulness, practise non-judgement and respect your as well as other people’s boundaries.

How can we celebrate International Day of Living Together in Peace?

Participate in social work, donate resources like materials and spread awareness on how ordinary citizens can make a big difference in building peace when they get together.




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