There really is a lot going on at the moment adding to the overwhelm we may all be experiencing by the many global and national crisis. But there is also a lot happening in November, to make this world a better place. There is World Kindness day, Paris Peace Forum, World Tolerance Day and Diwali.
World Kindness Day
World Kindness Day is celebrated annually on 13th November. On this day, participants attempt to make the world a better place by celebrating and promoting good deeds and pledging acts of kindness, either as individuals or as organisations.
World Kindness Day was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement (WKM), an organisation formed at a 1997 Tokyo conference of like-minded kindness organisations from around the world. WKM is a not for profit organisation with no political, commercial or religious affiliations. Members of the movement include over 27 nations with representatives from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Romania, Scotland, South Africa, South Korea,Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, the USA and Zimbabwe
The mission of the WKM is to “inspire individuals towards greater kindness and to connect nations to create a kinder world. The WKM encourages individuals of other nations to establish kindness movements within their countries and collaborate on global initiatives through membership to The World Kindness Movement”
CNN published today for WKD, 25 ways to be kind. We hope you find some inspiration from them on
Paris Peace Forum
Paris Peace Forum is held between the 11-13 November 2020. This is the third Paris Peace Forum and this year, over 60 heads of state and international organizations will contribute to this ceremony. The mission of the Paris Peace Forum is to maintain a specific focus on governance solutions in six major themes:
- Peace & Security
- New technologies
- Inclusive economy
- Culture & Education
The theme for 2020 will be centered on the collective response to Coronavirus, especially, on improving our response and resilience to it. And also, to:
- rebuilding a more sustainable world, with the common objective of bouncing back to a better planet and
- redoubling efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) and
- put the Paris Agreement into action.
The Peace forum explains that “Peace is not just the suspension of war. The Paris Peace Forum describes peace as made up of all the solutions that help reduce international tensions: cooperation to fight climate change and mitigate resource scarcity, institutions to channel power rivalries and better administer global public goods, regulation to address abuses of power and inequalities, intergenerational bridges and gender equality to create more peaceful societies.”
In other words, peace will only be sustainable if effective global governance underpins it.
World Tolerance Day
World Tolerance Day. 16 November is marked as World Tolerance Day by the United Nations. In 1996, the UN General Assembly invited UN Member States to observe 16 November as the International Day for Tolerance.
The day is now marked every year on 16 November in order to create awareness about the principles of tolerance. It is a day for respecting the cultures, beliefs and traditions of others and understanding the risks posed by intolerance.
Tolerance is described by the UN, as respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world's cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. People are naturally diverse; only tolerance can ensure the survival of mixed communities in every region of the globe.
“Tolerance is respect, acceptance and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, our forms of expression and ways of being human.”
Education for tolerance should aim at countering influences that lead to fear and exclusion of others and should help young people develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning. The diversity of our world's many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.
The UN also explains how intolerance can be countered and gives five strategies:
- Laws: Governments are responsible for enforcing human rights laws, for banning and punishing hate crimes and discrimination and for ensuring equal access to dispute settlement.
- Education: Laws are necessary but not sufficient for countering intolerance, greater emphasis needs to be placed on educating more and better.
- Access to information: The most efficient way to limit the influence of hatemongers is to promote press freedom and press pluralism, in order to allow the public to differentiate between facts and opinions.
- Individual awareness: Intolerance breeds intolerance. In order to fight intolerance individuals should become aware of the link between their behaviour and the vicious cycle of mistrust and violence in society.
- Local solutions: When confronted with an escalation of intolerance around us, we must not wait for governments and institutions to act alone. We are all part of the solution.
Diwali. Almost a fifth of the world’s population, mainly from the sub-continent of India will be celebrating Diwali, a festival of light and joy between the 13th-15th November. Diwali celebrates the victory of justice over injustice, good over evil, light over darkness. It reminds us not to forget what makes us all human, qualities of joy, truth and happiness.
Kindness, peace, tolerance, joy, truth and happiness, thank you November!