While the International Day of Peace occurred more than two months ago (September 21), we couldn’t resist posting one more story by Michelle Cameron which demonstrates the inspired and enthusiastic efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers to introduce Prem Rawat’s unique message of peace to students, faculty, and family members in a university setting in Southern California.
This year’s Peace Day, with its emphasis on Peace Education, seemed tailor made for the Peace Education Program (PEP) offered by The Prem Rawat Foundation.
Victor Stephen Kamont, president of the newly formed Peace Club at California State University Northridge (CSUN), felt it was particularly important for the Peace Club, with its affiliation to the Peace Education Program, to hold a Peace Day celebration on campus.
We invited participants of all ages.
On September 21, at three in the afternoon on the grass in the shade of a beautiful elm tree outside the University Village Recreation Center, children gathered at tables covered with crayons, craft paper, glue, stickers, and other supplies to make drawings and Peace Day collages.
Nearby, a canopy housed a TV and seating for audiences to watch meaningful, fun, short cartoons with an emphasis on peace. Inside the recreation center, drinks and other refreshments appeared, as if by magic, as people arrived bearing potluck contributions. Peace Day videos played on the large flat screen, live-streamed from PeaceBeats.co.uk.
As the crafts were completed and tummies filled, young and old gathered inside to form a circle to express what peace meant to them. “Peace is in your heart,” declared one very wise four-year-old.
Everyone then had the opportunity to write their name and thoughts on a paper leaf and attach it to a “Peace Tree.” The tree had traveled from an elementary school in Malibu, bearing the names and Peace Day wishes of the students. This marked the beginning of a wonderful new tradition!
Around 6 p.m., the gathered Peace Day celebrants enjoyed a video prepared and released around the world specifically for Peace Day. The 28-minute video featured two of the world’s premier peace advocates, Jeremy Gilley (founder of Peace One Day) and Prem Rawat (TPRF founder and originator of the Peace Education Program). Quiet descended on the room as their lively and wide-ranging conversation on the subjects of world peace and personal peace captured everyone’s attention. The video is available to live-stream at tprf.org on the home page.
A brief introduction to the Peace Education Program followed, with information about the upcoming Peace Education Program on the CSUN campus, and a short but heartfelt expression from a PEP participant in a nearby town. Afterwards, several people signed up for the PEP class.
The evening wrapped up with a medley of music focused on the importance of peace for people everywhere. I think the celebration left everyone with a sense of hope and possibility and looking forward to a much bigger celebration planned for the center of the campus next year. We hope others will join our celebration with a groundswell of similar celebrations on campuses around the world.
Let’s get planning!!!!!