International Day of Non-Violence
The United Nation’s (UN) International Day of Non-Violence is observed on 2nd October, to celebrate the birthday of the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi who led the Indian independence movement and pioneer of the philosophy and strategy of non-violence. Mahatma Gandhi famously helped lead India to independence from Britain using non-violence.
History of International Day of Non-Violence
The day started on June 15, 2007, after the United Nations General Assembly voted for it. The U.N. resolution asked all its members to observe the holiday in “an appropriate manner” and to spread “the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness.”
During his twenties, Mahatma Gandhi traveled to London and became a lawyer, became a more committed vegetarian, and read the sacred texts of the world’s religions. In 1893 he traveled to South Africa and was awakened to the color prejudices of the country, and formed the Natal Congress to fight discrimination. He traveled back to India for a few years and then back to South Africa, where he organized his first large-scale civil disobedience campaign in 1906, called Satyagraha—meaning truth and firmness—protesting restrictions on the rights of Indians.
Mahatma Gandhi has been the inspiration for civil rights movements throughout the world. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was motivated by Gandhi as he fought for racial equality in the USA in the 1950s and 60s. One of Gandhi’s most famous quotes summarizes the spirit of non-violence. He said: “There are many causes that I am prepared to die for, but no causes that I am prepared to kill for.” He also said: “Non-violence is mightier than the mightiest weapon of destruction.”
The Iranian Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi played a big part in starting this day. At the World Social Forum in Bombay in 2004, she suggested such a day should be created. The date for this annual global celebration was chosen to pay tribute to the great Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi, who was born on October 2, 1869.
Things you can do to celebrate the International Day of Non-Violence:
Spread awareness about the event
There’s a good chance that most people in your circle or community don’t even know that an International Day of Non-Violence exists. Using social media, you can help spread awareness about the event. Educate people about what it’s all about and why it is significant. Promote the culture and ideals of a nonviolent and pacifist lifestyle through informative posts and pictures on your social media accounts. The more educated and aware people are about the philosophy of nonviolence, the more willing they will be in taking part in the campaign to create a better and more peaceful world.
Try to resolve your personal issues in nonviolent ways
If you have personal problems that are gnawing at your insides, come up with ways to resolve them peacefully, particularly if the problems involve certain people in your life. Relate to your adversaries’ points of view to gain a better understanding of the issues involved. Try to come up with nonviolent ways to resolve pesky disputes where everyone concerned would feel like they’ve won.
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