SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24: As Americans stumble toward the finish line in one of our stormiest election campaigns, it’s a great idea to remind ourselves of the underlying unity of the human race. When an earthquake rumbles or a hurricane roars, no one asks for our political or religious affiliation. We all run for cover and, at our best, we help each other survive and rebuild. Life is fragile on this precious blue ball spinning in the third position from the sun.
Yoko Ono and a wide array of “new thought” groups are trying to establish an annual celebration of global oneness. This may sound like various earlier international efforts to focus prayers and spiritual reflections on unifying the world’s population—and this is, indeed, similar to earlier events. The idea is: We need such occasions on an annual basis, the organizers are telling us. And who can dispute the value of the overall goal?
In a video introducing the celebration, Yoko Ono reminds viewers that humans already have had a huge impact on the planet—often to tragic ends. Together, she urges viewers, we can promote “health, peace and joy—and loving and caring for all lives on earth.”
Coincides with United Nations Day:
OCTOBER 24 also is United Nations Day, so the appeal to global oneness falls on an auspicious occasion. In 1945, at the close of World War II, 50 nations signed the Charter of the United Nations. Representatives actually signed the charter on June 26 in San Francisco—but the charter went into effect that year on October 24, 1945. Later, recognizing that there were two occasions that might be commemorated, the UN officially designated October 24 as the anniversary.
In his 2010 Presidential Proclamation of United Nation’s Day, President Obama outlined his own hopes: The United Nations has made great advances since it first developed out of ruin and genocide (at the close of WWII), and, today, this partnership includes 192 member states. Throughout its journey to live up to its founding values, it has remained an indispensable vehicle for coordinated action to tackle global problems. In a time when we face challenges such as nuclear proliferation, climate change, transnational terrorism, food security risks, and pandemic disease, we must work as one to build the kind of world we want to see in the 21st century.