A Second Season of Peace on Earth

On January 30, thousands of Americans begin a joyous two-month celebration of nonviolence.

| January/February 2002

Refuse to gossip. Look beyond stereotypes and prejudices. Drive with care and patience. These are just three of the ways you can participate in the Season for Nonviolence, a celebration established in 1998 to honor the lives and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Conceived by Gandhi's grandson Arun and organized by the Evanston, Illinois-based Association for Global New Thought, the Season for Nonviolence is an annual event beginning January 30, the date of Gandhi's assassination, and ending on April 4, the anniversary of King's murder. During those 64 days, participants work to spread the message of nonviolence through their own actions and by influencing the actions of others.

"Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King had a similar way of saying 'We must be the change,'" says Sydney Salt, national task force coordinator for the Season of Nonviolence. "With this event, it is our purpose to create awareness of how a person can practice nonviolence in his or her own life. It's not just about honoring those who are working to make peace, but also about actually taking the action in your own hands and doing your part to live a nonviolent life."

The Season for Nonviolence began in 1998, with an opening ceremony at the United Nations and observances in 115 U.S. cities and 10 countries around the world. It has been steadily growing since then. Participating is simple, Salt says. Any person can get involved, and it doesn't have to cost anything. Organizers have developed the "64 Ways and Days" campaign--a list of how to observe a different aspect of nonviolence during each day of the season--plus a version geared toward families, as well as a family pledge for nonviolence.

Among the ways the Season of Nonviolence was celebrated last year:

- PeaceQuest 2001. A two-day youth summit designed to introduce Denver teens to the principles of nonviolence.