This Peace Pagoda is at the center of the Peace Plaza in San Francisco’s Japantown. It was a gift from the people of Osaka in 1968 as a gesture of goodwill.
After being inspired by a meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1931, Nichidatsu Fujii, a Buddhist monk from Japan, decided to devote his life to promoting non-violence. In 1947, he began constructing Peace Pagodas in various places around the world as shrines to world peace.
Although we may not possess the talent or artistry to build grand monuments or shrines to promote peace as Nichidatsu Fujii did, let’s all remember we are capable of promoting peace in our own way throughout our daily lives.
You promote peace by not honking at the car in front of you when it takes the driver a few seconds longer to hit the gas pedal after the light turns green.
There is peace in taking a deep breath and choosing not to yell at your child for not getting up early enough in the morning to get ready and leave for school on time.
When we make an effort to learn more about others, you promote peace by getting a better understanding of their viewpoints, beliefs, culture, feelings, and passions. You don’t always have to agree with everything they say or do, but knowing who they are, why they think, feel or act the way do, is always a better alternative than simply staying ignorant and choosing hate.
There will always be peace where or when there is respect, kindness, joy, love and compassion—at work, home or wherever you may be in this world of ours.
Let there be peace in our world, and let it begin with each one of us.