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Most people wish for world peace and many people are working toward making the planet a better place. And one of the most important ways that less violence and more peace can be experienced in the world may be related to building and strengthening families.

The connection between world peace, communities and families is what Global Family Day is all about!

History of Global Family Day

Global Family Day evolved through the efforts toward world peace near the end of the 20th century. In 1997, the United Nations General Assembly began making plans for launching the International Decade for the Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.

One of the important efforts toward this end was the launch of a book sponsored by Linda Grover, called “One Day in Peace – January 1, 2000”. The launch of the decade of peace, as well as the book, revolved around the idea that some day, in the future, there could be a time when there is no more war on the planet.

As the idea for the decade of peace continued to develop, all of the United Nations member states were invited to formally dedicate January 1 of 2000 to making efforts toward building peace on the planet. Because the day was so successful and gained so much traction, the United Nations decided to make it an annual event beginning in 2001, when it was called Global Family Day.

Families who are healthy in physical, emotional and economic ways are the foundations of communities that live at peace. And the theory is that peaceful communities lead to peaceful countries which should ultimately lead to making the world a better place. 

How to Celebrate Global Family Day

Have fun and enjoy celebrating Global Family Day by participating in some activities together. Try out some of these ideas:

Spend Time with Family

One of the most important factors involved with Global Family Day is the idea that the efforts made toward peace in the world are directly related to the support of the family. Families who are healthy will spend time together, offer strength and support to each member, and create stability which can transfer to communities around the world.

One way a family can build strength is simply by committing to eating dinner together each day. Good communication through family meetings, as well as working together toward common goals, are ways that family members can strengthen bonds and promote peace.

Some specific activities that can be pursued in honor of Global Family Day might be to plant a family garden, go camping in the backyard, cook some meals together or take a hike. No matter what you do together, be sure to take note of these stories that can be turned into important memories for the family to bond over!

Watch Some Films About Peace and Family

Movies can certainly be entertaining, but that’s not all! Families can often grow with movies that offer access to deep topics as watching them together can prompt discussions between family members about how to make the world a better place.

Consider watching one of these movies about efforts toward peace on Global Family Day:

  • Selma (2014). A biographical chronicle about the important actions of Martin Luther King, Jr’s campaign toward equality in voting rights, particularly the 1965 protest march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Gandhi (1982). A period biographical film, this one is based on the life of peacemaker Mahatma Gandhi and the efforts toward the independence of India from British rule.
  • Loving (2016). This true biographical story is about a family who were victims of racism in the 1960s when they were arrested for interracial marriage.
  • The Incredibles (2004). Though this film isn’t exactly one that is based on reality, it’s still an example of what can happen when families use their talents and gifts, working together to stop evil and make the world a better place.

Make an Effort Toward Peace

Although establishing peace in the entire world might feel a bit like a far reach, one real way to go about making peace in the world is for individuals and families to live together at peace on a local level. Consider some of these ideas for working toward building peace in honor of Global Family Day:

  • Personally commit to nonviolence. Global Family Day takes place on the first day of the year, which means it is a good time to renew or make new commitments toward living in peace and speaking out against violence.
  • Volunteer for a charity that promotes peace. Individuals and families can work together toward making the world a better place by volunteering for organizations that build community, reduce violence, and promote safety.
  • Speak out against discrimination and prejudice. When unjust situations occur, don’t be afraid to speak out and stand up for those who are being discriminated against, excluded or bullied.
  • Start a conversation about peace. Don’t forget that your sphere of influence is all around you, in the people you already know. Consider using Global Family Day as an opportunity to kindly start talking with friends, coworkers and family members about ways to promote peace.

Create Family Goals

Instead of just making individual New Year’s resolutions, consider using this opportunity to make resolutions as a family. Global Family Day is a perfect time for family members to have a meeting and brainstorming session to consider the goals they want to make and intentions they want to set for the upcoming year that could result in making the world a more peaceful place.

Consider using this day as an opportunity for making plans to volunteer for a charity together or to serve in the community as a family. Create or review various family values and rules, and have everyone recommit to caring for and loving each other in a more effective way.

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