The need to spread compassion, hope and kindness seems to be an essential call to action these days. We have a global pandemic, race protests for Black Lives Matters, International elections and a heightened gap between those who have and those who do not as our world transforms under these changes. This International Day of Peace, observed each year on September 21,is a great way to highlight small acts of giving that spread compassion, hope and kindness to people we know and people we don’t know.
The United Nations has asked populations to use this International Day of Peace celebration to ‘Shape Peace Together’.
With a focus on defeating the spread of COVID-19, The United Nations has asked all of us to use our voice to shape peace. In these difficult times of physical distancing, this International Day of Peace will is dedicated to fostering dialogue and collecting ideas, between nations, between cultures, between people. The world has been invited by UN leaders to unite and share thoughts on how to weather this storm, heal our planet and change it for the better. Even though we may not be able to stand next to each other, we can still dream together. At 365give we know we can give together.
There is nothing more compelling to heal a soul than patience. Many of us feel a bit upside down and backwards with the changes we face under COVID-19. We have to be more aware than normal, checking we have a mask on, distancing ourselves from others when we have to go out in public. I have noticed how slow I am when I pack my grocery bags, cross the street, or attempt to complete any simple daily task I did pre-pandemic with my eyes closed. Patience is a great way to show compassion to a family member, friend or the person ahead of you in line. Patience is a daily give all of us need and will benefit from.
Listening to someone else’s story is a powerful give. The story could be a few minutes, a couple of a seconds or a longer conversation with a family member or friend. Listen to their story, really listen, so they felt seen and heard. If you are a tik-tok user, listen to the stories that people are sharing, their stories of race, caste, or economic crisis. Their stories of happiness, gratitude, or thankfulness. Being heard means you have been seen and there is nothing more powerful than knowing someone has listened. Listen to stories around Black Lives Matters, economic disparity, essential workers struggles and experiences, or trying to live under new routines that are hard to adapt to. When we listen we can find ways to be kinder or execute gives that spread hope in a more meaningful way.
If all of us bought things locally, our communities would thrive, our neighbours would thrive, and we would feel great about supporting our local businesses. It might take a bit more effort, or it might be a little bit more expensive, or we might have to change our idea of what we need to what is available. Buying local impacts our communities and makes them thrive! Keeping people in business, keeping people employed, changes the attitude of our neighbourhoods and spreads kindness. Know who you buy from and support your neighbours.
We are not out of the woods, and people are still going without food during this pandemic. Though local news has shifted to school, work and overall economies, people are still out of work, struggling to feed their families and need to put food on the table, every day. Donating to a local food bank brings that hope to people who need it. Knowing that people are supporting those who need help the most, knowing that someone has your back when you cant find the resources to do it yourself, means the world. Have the back of a mom who can not return to work, have the back of a restaurant employee who cant return to work, have the back of a family who struggles with the new expenses for school and just doesn’t have the income to do it all. Be that person, or be that family that spreads hope by giving.
There are some significant cultural holidays coming up that would be great to participate in online. To understand other cultures it is a great idea to participate in holidays or events that celebrate that culture. Black Poetry Day is celebrated October 17, Day of the Dead is celebrated Nov 1. Indigenous People’s Day Octcober 12. These are just some ideas. Find online events you can participate in that celebrate a culture you are unfamilar with, or want to understand more. When we understand a culture activity better, we are able to spread kindness to our friends better. I love Day of the Dead and think this cultural celebration of our ancestors and family members who have passed from our lives is a wonderful way to celebrate those who had a hand in shaping us. It was not until I participated in Day of the Dead celebrations that I actually understood the beautiful cultural tradition that is so important to Latino cultures. I love it and continue to celebrate it year after year. It has inspired me to share more hope, compassion and kindness at this time of the year.
With a world looking very different under the threat of a pandemic, small acts of giving that use compassion, kindness and hope are small but a powerful catalyst to peace. We can all participate in stopping the spread, we can all continue to change our routines in hopes it helps one person from getting COVID-19. We can all hope that we find powerful ways to have every person despite race, caste or economic status be equal and treated equally in our societies. But we can not control how this all unfolds. What we can control is how we deal with these events, using compassion. hope and kindness to put out the ‘fire’ we are all experiencing. Lets switch our lives from Surviving to thriving through simple actions.
Use these gives to start your 365give Challenge so we can start changing the world one day, one give at a time.