Today is the 20th year of the World Day of Peace. This was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1981. But it was in 2001 that they asked all their member nations to call a cease fire in any and every area where there is conflict. That for at least one day every year, there is no war between the 193 member states.
This annual observance of peace along the writings of people like John Lennon in his song, “Imagine” and statements like, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” by Jimi Hendrix inspired me in 2018 to create an event for the tea community to promote world peace. Sip for Peace.
Recalling Sip for Peace 2018
We celebrated “imagining” world peace for 30 days by focusing on 30 different tea-producing regions. Each day we provided information about the land and the people who produce our tea. Each day and country was also paired with quotes, readings, poetry and songs from great thinkers and also meditation practice.
Every participant was encouraged to imagine how the world will be different when we no longer have war on the planet. And to do this while drinking a cup of tea from one of the regions with an awareness of the people with whom we are connected by this plant and these ideas.
As a global community of tea drinkers, sharing the peace we feel in a simple cup of tea and the connectedness we share with people around the world, we can Sip-In as an activity to participate in the World Day of Peace. We can use our daily tea practice to make every day another Sip for Peace day.
Re-Creating Sip for Peace for 2021
More people now express their fear that world peace is an impossible dream. The pandemic of the last two years along with political and economic divisions even make conversations about world peace more difficult. But I would like to suggest that times like these can also inspire us to reach for a vision of a very different future.
Sipping for Peace is doing just that . . . but with a cup of tea and a few prompts.
- Choose a tea and consider where it came from. Is it a single-origin tea or a blend? If it’s a blend, is it bringing together different tea growing countries. This is likely to be true of teas like a Breakfast Blend that blend Assam from India with black tea from Sri Lanka and perhaps a third black tea from Argentina or Africa.
- As you prepare and drink it, consider the land where the tea grew and the people who produced it.
- Read tea resources like books and online websites to learn something new.
- Search for quotes about World Peace. Or visit the United Nations World Day of Peace website. Browse some of their videos.
- Allow yourself to suspend disbelief for a few minutes and imagine that the world can change. Imagine how children of future generations growing up without war will be different. Imagine a different format for the evening news when there is no longer need to discuss crises around the world. Imagine that all people have meaningful work and enough to eat.
World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.
Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.
John F. Kennedy