World Peace Day
annually on November 17th (since 1995)
Don "Peaceguy" Morris on July 18th, 1995
Don "Peaceguy" Morris started World Peace Day in Miami, Florida. It has been observed at least since 1995. Early on, Morris organized a peace march at Miami's South Beach on the day. Some of the main ways World Peace Day is celebrated today is by driving around with headlights on as a public demonstration of peace, thinking about peace while going about daily activities, and folding origami cranes and hanging them in public around one's city and throughout the world as a wish for peace and to remind people of peace, taking inspiration from the story of Sadako Sasaki. Morris has said that the only instructions for the day are to "pray, focus, or meditate for peace," and that "by gathering together we provide the pebble to start the avalanche towards peace."
How to Observe World Peace Day
There are many ways you can take part in the day. The following ideas were thought up by Don "Peaceguy" Morris:
- Drive with your headlights on as a public demonstration of peace.
- Think about peace as you go throughout your day.
- Fold some origami cranes and display or hang them in public places around your city. Let others know the cranes are for reminding everyone about world peace and encourage them to make some too. You could even host an origami crane folding event! If you wish, you could send some cranes to politicians as a demonstration of peace. Send them to the president, your congressional representatives, world leaders, and to the United Nations.
- Wear or share a white peace ribbon.
- Gather together in public for peace. You could set up a peace event but could do something as simple as taking a few minutes to hold hands in a circle and meditate about peace.
- Ask religious leaders to focus the week on peace. Although World Peace Day isn't a religious observance, it doesn't exclude religion either.
- Let local media know about the day, as well as your friends and family. If you work in media, use your platform to share information about the day.
- Encourage your place of employment to take part in the day.
- Share about the day online.
- Do a random act of kindness.
- If you are a musician who is performing today, since a song of peace with your audience.
- Host a candlelight vigil.
You also could read the "Peaceguy's Prayer":
May the people on this planet be changed. Changed from hatred to love, Changed from greed to giving, Changed from selfishness to selflessness, Changed from apathy to action, Changed from jealousy to joy over someone's accomplishments, Changed from intolerance to acceptance, Changed from being destructive to being constructive, Changed from fighting to peace, Changed from killing to protecting life, Changed from censorship to freedom, Changed from ignorance to education, Changed from fearing our differences to rejoicing our variety.
May we each take it upon ourselves to feed the hungry, cure the sick, house the homeless, educate the illiterate, love the unloved, compete to do the right thing instead of winning at any cost, make heroes that teach our children to make the world a better place instead of glorifying violence and war, stand up and speak out against things that are wrong instead of sitting back and waiting for someone else, demand honesty from our governments, demand honesty from ourselves.
May we each take responsibility for our own actions and realize that by refusing to change ourselves, we condone all the evils in the world. If one person changes they teach others by example, who in turn change and teach more, one person becomes as a pebble rolling down a mountain, picking up more pebbles as it continues, becoming an avalanche of change. It can happen, it must happen, it will happen.