‘We need to look beyond our differences and unite if we want to recover and have peace’

Sep 21, 2021
With Covid-19 and unrest around the world, the theme of International Peace Day - 'Recovering better for an equitable and sustainable world' - is more important than ever, writes Andris. Source: Getty Images

In 1968 Mahalia Jackson sang the famous spiritual, ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’ at her concert at the greatest symbol of the Cold War, the Berlin Wall, that divided East and West Berlin.

She sang:

‘Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
The peace that was meant to be.
I walk with my brothers in peace and harmony.
Let’s take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally,
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.’

After she finished the song a journalist said, “I never believed in God, but when you sing it gives me goose bumps.”

“It’s your soul speaking and you don’t even know that it is there,” Jackson replied.

Are we aware of our soul — that subtle voice that whispers softly ‘there shall be peace on earth and let it begin with me’?

The United Nations International Day of Peace (September 21) is a clarion call to us all to start to listen right now and work together for peace. People throughout the world have the common enemies of the coronavirus pandemic and the increasingly catastrophic global warming that threatens to make life unliveable for humans.

I wonder then if we will stop fighting one another and unite to save lives and our planet?

The UN is asking for the world’s citizens to ‘transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier’.

It has been reported many times over that Covid-19 will hit the underprivileged and marginalised groups the hardest. According to the United National, by April 2021, more than 687 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered globally, but more than 100 countries have not received a single dose. “People caught in conflict are especially vulnerable in terms of lack of access to healthcare,” it says.

“In line with the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s appeal for a global ceasefire last March, in February 2021 the Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for Member States to support a ‘sustained humanitarian pause’ to local conflicts. The global ceasefire must continue to be honoured, to ensure people caught in conflict have access to lifesaving vaccinations and treatments.”

I am a member of the Blue Mountains Interfaith Group that attempts to bring all people together who believe spiritual awakening is necessary for lasting inner and international peace. On September 21, we conducted a Zoom presentation to remember the International Day Of Peace. The following is my contribution to this presentation.

I pray daily for inner and world peace through a personal relationship with a spiritual superpower greater than ourselves, that charges us with love and inner peace, inspiring us to a commitment to loving others as ourselves, including the least of our brothers, sisters and even our enemies.

Spiritual disciplines aim to transform our identity from restless materialism-trapped ego-centrism to a spiritual identity that seeks to serve all beings peacefully with love. Enough of us embracing such spiritual identity may form the basis for lasting inner and international peace.

This is my prayer:
I thank you God with all my heart with all my soul with all my mind.
I love you God with all my life for you love me first with all your might.
So help me God will you teach me to love my neighbour as me
To love my enemy like you love me
Even my worst enemy who’s always me.

Soli Deo Gloria, alone yours’ all glory hallelujah
Servus Servorum Domini, oh let me be, oh let me be
The servant of your servants Almighty
Oh let me be, oh let me be

Give us our daily bread the world over, let there be peace on earth forever
Let there be peace on earth everywhere, give us our daily bread the world over.

Shanti, Shanti, Shalom — May peace be with all of us.

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