The Special and Most Honored Days of Our Peace Coalition and Peace Agenda
Dates: January 1, 2018 - January 2, 2018
Venue: The Institute for InterGroup Understanding
Four monumental days that will be honored each year by the Institute for InterGroup Understanding — for the purpose of celebration, recognition, collaboration, remembrance, and shared learning by the people working to achieve Peace in the context of the Art of Peace belief systems — are the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday, the Fourth of July, Sept. 11, and Thanksgiving.
The MLK national holiday is a perfect day for thinking about intergroup Peace and for working on Peace related activities because The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was an incredibly important and directionally correct leader for inclusive intergroup Peace. Like his own icon and hero, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King preached nonviolence, inclusion, and he exemplified a solid core commitment to bringing people together in ways that were a win for all people.
We will also celebrate the work of Gandhi as part of that annual recognition of Dr. King and his work.
We will actually use the MLK Day to celebrate three heroes of enlightenment for intergroup Peace.
The third person we will celebrate on the MLK Day is Nelson Mandela — South Africa’s incredible and saintly leader — who was also an admirer of both Gandhi and Dr. King’s work, and who also taught us very real and functional, yet loving, pathways to inclusion and Peace.
All three of those leaders gave us a rich and wonderful legacy of teaching, core beliefs, and wonderfully modeled behaviors that we can study and learn from as we attempt to generate intergroup Peace in our settings and our times. All three prove that we can do the right thing, and that it is possible to have leaders who exemplify doing the right thing in the right ways for the right reasons.
True heroes of enlightenment will be celebrated on that first day each year.
Day Two of Celebration is The Fourth of July. The second special day to be celebrated every year as part of the intergroup Peace alignment and learning agenda — The Fourth of July — was chosen because America has flaws, but America is, at its core, an extremely enlightened nation, and America has been a model for the world in many key and foundational areas.
The idealism of America and the core beliefs in The American Dream have no parallel on the planet. Because we are all very human in ways that are described in great detail in the InterGroup Understanding books, there have been a number of areas in our country and our history where issues like slavery, discrimination and other layers and levels of negative instinctive behavior have caused us to fall short of our ideals — but the basic ideals are incredibly good, and we are extremely enlightened and beneficial to each other and the world when we are acting in accord with those ideals.
We need to celebrate who we are at our best, and we need to do what needs to be done to be perpetually at our best. An annual reminder of who we are at our best — and an annual recommitment to be our best — makes sense as an anchor of a calendar for Peace.
The third special day for intergroup Peace for America is the eleventh of September — 9/11 to us all. On that day, people who hate the ideals that are the core of the American Dream and at the core of our most enlightened belief systems, killed thousands of our people by flying hijacked passenger planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
When that attack happened, there was a brief but extremely important and clearly shining period of time when we all came together to appreciate the values that we share as Americans. That horrible day caused us to see ourselves for who we are at our best — and even though we have slipped back from that recognition in many ways, it was absolutely clear on that day that our collective sense of “Us” is a wonderful thing that has a huge impact on our lives.
So every year, the InterGroup Institute plans to honor and perpetuate those beliefs and feelings of alignment and of being an American Us.
The fourth day on the annual celebration and recognition calendar for intergroup Peace is Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving makes sense as a day of celebration because even though we have many challenges, we are making progress in a number of areas and in a number of ways, and we need to take the time each year to celebrate and be thankful for the progress we have made in the past and the progress we continue making today.
We will have a better sense of the progress we are making when we make a point to identify, delineate, and describe and celebrate that progress.
Those designated days of celebration each have their own function and role — and they can give us ongoing context and opportunity to focus on the things we need to do to create intergroup Peace in America.
You are welcome to join us for any and all of those days — and you are invited to do whatever makes sense for the people you are with for each of those times.
The InterGroup website will feature those days and offer both thought pieces and celebration opportunities for each of the honored times.
Let’s get this right — because the consequences of getting it wrong will harm and damage too many people, and we will only have ourselves to blame if we allow that to happen.