What can I do in the face of growing violence around us? That’s the question that the movement, Non-Violence Begins with Me, was set up to help answer. A group of NGOs, businesses and concerned citizens began meeting almost two years ago help curb the wave of violence that was sweeping the country.
In exploring the theme of non-violence, we soon realised that, in some way, we were all contributors to the violence that we see around us. We then raised these questions: How can I help create a climate of non-violence? How can I make a difference?
What emerged was a plan for an awareness and education campaign that sought to change violent thoughts and actions within each of ourselves as a means to solving the wider societal problem.
There were many “aha!” moments during those discussions when we all acknowledged that breaking the law by talking on mobile phones, ‘running’ red lights, road rage, littering and being actively hostile to co-workers were all examples of how we, as individuals, contributed to violence in society.
It is in promoting that awareness of ‘Non-Violence Begins With Me’ that we believe we can really cause a “tsunami” of non-violence and peace in society.
On Tuesday, October 2, the world commemorates International day for Non-Violence, which is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. According to the United Nations’ General Assembly resolution A/RES/61/271 of June 15, 2007, which established the commemoration, the day is an occasion to “disseminate the message of non-violence, including through education and public awareness”.
The resolution reaffirms “the universal relevance of the principle of non-violence” and the desire “to secure a culture of peace, tolerance, understanding and non-violence”.
For the month of October our focus will be on three themes—the family, the environment and refugees. Our activities include:
* Asking persons to wear blue on Fridays to promote awareness of non-violence. We would like individuals also to take a moment and learn more about the international movement for non-violence
* Hosting an interfaith service on October 7 at the Living Water Community 109 Fredrick Street, POS. You can also watch this live on Trinity TV at 4 p.m.
* Producing daily podcasts on our Facebook page—Non-Violence Begins With Me
* Airing weekly television shows on Trinity TV 8–9 p.m. every Tuesday night in October
* Leading a Marian procession around the Queen’s Park Savannah on October 13
* Encouraging candlelight events on October 26. Bring hope to your communities through non-violence. We are seeking your help in arranging these in your parishes and communities
We look forward to your participation! If you have questions, please go to our Facebook page, call 342-3885, or email firstname.lastname@example.org – Candice Clarke-Salloum