I have always regarded November as a month of reflection and gratitude. The sight of poppies and wreaths serve as a reminder of the brave men and women who have fought for peace and freedom.
YMCA Peace Week
The month of November also plays host to a nationwide YMCA initiative called Peace Week. This is a time when we can celebrate the presence of peace in our local and global communities. Peace Week offers activities and opportunities for people of all ages to explore peace from personal, community and global perspectives.
Peace means more than the absence of violence and conflict. Peace is an ongoing process of building fairness, equality, security and respect for diversity. Simple actions like sharing, being patient or smiling and saying hello can have a far greater impact than we think.
Peace Week at the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
This year, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka celebrates Peace Week from November 14-21. As an advocate for peace, I invite everyone to be part of the conversation. Share something you do to foster peace in your home, school, workplace or community. Take a moment for yourself and join Yoga for Peace. Record your Acts of Peace on a leaf and help build the Peace Trees that will be present in all of our centres. You can view schedules and events taking place during Peace Week on our website.
What kinds of actions create PEACE?
P Participation: getting involved and encouraging others to get involved in community-building activities
E Empathy: listening and understanding diverse perspectives to create a sense of belonging for all
A Advocacy: making the case for positive change in the community
C Community: building and strengthening community connections and capacity
E Empowerment: inspiring others to foster peace and helping them gain the skills and tools to succeed
Acts for peace tend to grow outward, creating ripples through the whole community. An act for peace may affect only one person directly—but it may show many more people what is possible. Peacemakers challenge and inspire others to pursue acts for peace.
Building Peace in the Community
How can you “act for peace” daily? There are many ways that everyone can participate in peace-building:
- Speak up when you or someone else is being mistreated
- Get to know your neighbours and fellow community members
- Stop when you see a demonstration, rally or walk. Ask a participant about the cause
- Have a talent or skill? Donate it to a person, organization or cause
- Find out when your municipality is holding community meetings and consultations and participate
- Participate in peace-building activities at your local YMCA and in your community
- Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and share your thoughts about peace building
Visit our website for more information about the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka and Peace Week.