As I moved through my day today, open to where inspiration would lead, the thoughts that kept coming to me centered around using my voice. That is a big area for me, one that I have shifted in. I spent much of my life not using my voice. I often remained silent, even when I had something of value to add to a conversation. I remained silent rather than risk a confrontation or getting into a disagreement with someone. My silence was understood by others to be agreement. It usually wasn't, but I lacked the courage to say otherwise.
I have learned to use my voice more and more the last 10 years. I have discovered that I can speak from my heart and not get into disagreements or confrontations. I've also learned that it is okay if people don't agree with me or I with them. I am not using my voice to berate someone or force them into agreement. I am simply speaking my truth and sharing hope and encouragement where I can. I am still in the process of learning to speak up, rather than choosing to remain silent, when others need a voice to speak for them.
These thoughts swirled in my mind today. I seemed to be on the correct path for me as confirmation came in from several sources, all about using one's voice. Following an intuitive nudge, I checked today's unique holidays. Today is One Voice Day.
Established in 1997, One Voice Day encourages people around the world to use their voices to speak peace into the world, by reading aloud a Universal Peace Covenant.
What a powerful way to use my voice today. I selected my backyard garden, which is my place of peace, to read the covenant. Using my voice, I read aloud.
Universal Peace Covenant
Peace is the breath of our spirit.
It wells up from within the depths of our being to refresh, to heal, to inspire.
Peace is our birthright.
Its eternal presence exists within us as a memory of where we have come from and as a vision of where we yearn to go.
Our world is in the midst of change.
For millennia, we have contemplated, reasoned, and practiced the idea of peace. Yet the capacity to sustain peace eludes us. To transcend the limits of our own thinking we must acknowledge that peace is more than the cessation of conflict. For peace to move across the face of the earth we must realize, as the great philosophers and leaders before us, that all people desire peace. We hereby acknowledge this truth that is universal. Now humanity must desire those things that make for peace.
We affirm that peace is an idea whose time has come. We call upon humanity to stand united, responding to the need for peace. We call upon each individual to create and foster a personal vision for peace. We call upon each family to generate and nurture peace within the home. We call upon each nation to encourage and support peace among its citizens. We call upon each leader, be they in the private home, house of worship or place of labor, to be a living example of peace for only in this way can we expect peace to move across the face of the earth.
World Peace begins within ourselves. Arising from the spirit peace seeks expression through the mind, heart, and body of each individual. Government and laws cannot heal the heart. We must transcend whatever separates us. Through giving love and respect, dignity and comfort, we come to know peace. We learn to love our neighbors as we love ourselves bringing peace into the world. We hereby commit ourselves to this noble endeavor.
Peace is first a state of mind. Peace affords the greatest opportunity for growth and learning which leads to personal happiness. Self-direction promotes inner peace and therefore leads to outer peace. We vow to heal ourselves through forgiveness, gratitude, and prayer. We commit to causing each and every day to be a fulfillment of our potential, both human and divine.
Peace is active, the motion of silence, of faith, of accord, of service. It is not made in documents but in the minds and hearts of men and women. Peace is built through communication. The open exchange of ideas is necessary for discovery, for well-being, for growth, for progress whether within one person or among many. We vow to speak with sagacity, listen with equanimity, both free of prejudice, thus we will come to know that peace is liberty in tranquility.
Peace is achieved by those who fulfill their part of a greater plan. Peace and security are attained by those societies where the individuals work closely to serve the common good of the whole. Peaceful coexistence between nations is the reflection of man’s inner tranquility magnified. Enlightened service to our fellowman brings peace to the one serving, and to the one receiving. We vow to live in peace by embracing truths that apply to us all.
Living peaceably begins by thinking peacefully.
We stand on the threshold of peace-filled understanding. We come together, all of humanity, young and old of all cultures from all nations. We vow to stand together as citizens of the Earth knowing that every question has an answer, every issue a resolution. As we stand, united in common purpose, we hereby commit ourselves in thought and action so we might know the power of peace in our lifetimes.
Peace be with us all ways. May Peace Prevail On Earth.
I read through the words slowly, and with my heart fully engaged. Tears came to my eyes. I appreciated the truth of the words, that peace begins with me. It moves from my heart, my mind, and my soul, outward. I cannot offer peace to the world if I do not live in peace myself. Before the world can know it, my corner of the world must.
I am grateful for the opportunity that presented itself today, reminding me how importance my voice is. And when my voice joins with the voices of many others, then peace is spoken around the world. I felt so inspired by the covenant that I sent it to my grandson Dayan, who at 18 years of age is already using his voice to bring change into his world and then the world beyond. He too read the words of peace. I knew he would.
Using my voice today, combining it with others using theirs, has inspired deeper thought about ways I can surround myself with peace and offer it to the world. I will do a follow up post soon, with a list of peace inducing activities.
Malala Yousafzai wrote, "When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful." I am beyond being silent. My voice can make a difference. May I speak peace and hope and love into the world, and may I speak truth.