Opening My Heart to Peace

By Deborah Moldow

I am not always the quickest to catch on. When I was first introduced to the prayer, "May Peace Prevail on Earth," I thought, "Oh, that's a lovely prayer - who could be against that?" Little did I know that over the years those five simple words would become a foundation of my life, the "amen" to every prayer and a constant thread in the weave of my thoughts.

I had a similar experience with the International Day of Peace. On the first day that my beloved mentor, Avon Mattison, took me to the United Nations (where I would be for the next 21 years), she encouraged me to support this very special day, as Pathways To Peace had been doing since the General Assembly designated the International Day of Peace in 1981. I agreed, thinking the 12 Noon Minute of Silence would be a golden opportunity to unite across the globe with "May Peace Prevail on Earth." When the United Nations Department of Public Information began hosting a student observance of the International Day of Peace two years later, I offered a World Peace Flag Ceremony, and we have been working together ever since. Through the dedicated efforts of peace-loving people around the world, the International Day of Peace on September 21 has blossomed into a widely recognized focal point for prayers and celebrations worldwide.

What caught me up in these two deeply aligned movements? The times we live in are calling us to recognize ourselves beyond the old narrow identities and to see ourselves as one planetary family in a living universe. With this new understanding, we need prayers we can share that are not identified with a single religion and we need a day – one that belongs to every country in the world – to acknowledge the unity of our common humanity.

The shift in consciousness that is awakening our species across the globe has also been dawning in me. My own heart and mind seem to be expanding faster and faster. I feel myself releasing qualities like resentment, jealousy, competitiveness, mistrust and self-concern that were commonly accepted when I was growing up, and replacing them with a new spirit of acceptance, appreciation, compassion, trust and generosity. On a larger scale, the institutions built around older paradigms are gasping for air, while new forms are cropping up everywhere, especially where there are young people leading the way. As we actualize our own potential, we are also stretching the reach of human goodness.

We are at the gateway to a global culture of peace that thrives in justice, with respect for one another and the planet we share. Each of us living on the edge of this great evolution is making a contribution, both in our personal development and in our passionate commitment to whatever cause inspires us to action. And the unique beauty of the International Day of Peace is that it is a day to highlight any and all of these causes!

And that is why the International Day of Peace needs my voice and yours, too. On the days when our hearts sink in despair at the consequences of a consciousness of separation, it is good to know that there is one day when we can come together and rejoice that we are co-creating a new way to live as one diverse, vibrant and loving global community. May Peace Prevail on Earth!

Please join me to mark the 100-Day Countdown to the International Day of Peace with an international summit launching of the 2016 Summer of Peace on June 13! To join this free event, click here.

Rev. Deborah Moldow is an ordained interfaith minister committed to assisting in the transformation of human consciousness that will lead to a culture of peace. She contributes to this global effort through her ministry, international peace work, interfaith efforts, speaking, writing and singing, all part of the movement of awakening humanity. She is the Representative to the United Nations of the World Peace Prayer Society, which promotes the universal prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” and has traveled the globe to conduct Peace Pole dedications and World Peace Flag Ceremonies sending peace to every nation. At the United Nations, she co-chairs the International Day of Peace NGO Committee and facilitates the United Religions Initiative multi-faith cooperation circle. To learn more about Deborah, click here.


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This article appears in: 2016 Catalyst, Issue 10: Summer of Peace