On 11/11/11 Ones In A Lifetime Redefines World Peace and Connects the World, One Peace at a Time

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With Veteran’s Day (Armistice Day) falling on a unique date this year, a globally connected celebration is working to redefine how we think about World Peace. The Ones in a Lifetime event is engaging individuals and organizations through the universal languages of music, visual art, and cuisine, connecting the world, One Peace at a time.

Ones in a Lifetime

We are connecting the world, ONE PEACE at a time.

On 11:11:11 at 11/11/11, the time and the date are all “One.” This unique moment in history inspired a group of friends to celebrate, treating the moment similar to New Year’s Eve: A “Ones in a Lifetime” party. What began as a fun party idea has evolved into a globally connected event, linking people and organizations together, and providing a platform for an ongoing endeavor to advance the cause of World Peace.

Veterans Day (Armistice Day) celebrates the signing of the Armistice agreement on November 11, 1918, effectively ending hostilities in World War I. World War I was touted as “the war to end all wars,” and with the signing of the Armistice, world peace seemed to be in sight. However, as the ensuing years and today’s new broadcasts show us, world peace remains elusive. While developing the event for 11/11/11, the idea grew among Ones in a Lifetime organizers to create a more peaceful world through newly formed connections. Global conflict and strife is a real problem, and wishing won’t make it go away.

While other areas of the human experience have improved through innovative technologies and new discoveries, the arena of peace building has seemingly floundered in the periphery. Identifying the problem is always the first step in successfully solving it. “Peace” is defined online as the “cessation of, or freedom from, any strife or dissension.” This simplistic definition for peace may be one of the reasons that it has become so difficult to achieve and sustain.

According to Ones in a Lifetime founder, Dan Shutt, “Defining peace as the absence of conflict is like defining cake as the absence of broken glass. Ending conflict is a great place to start, but Peace has critical ingredients which must be in place, and actions required to combine those ingredients to achieve the desired result.” With this in mind, the endeavor began to identify the critical ingredients for a meaningful peace. Those ingredients seemed to fall into four general categories: Wellness (including nutrition and medicine), Education, Connection and Opportunity.

There are many organizations that have become household names, including Feed The Children, Doctors Without Borders, the United Nations, and Habitat for Humanity, who provide one or more of the critical ingredients for peace. Individuals have opportunities to donate time and money to these organizations, and good work is going on all the time, and has been for decades. People who seek to help have ample outlets for their generous impulses, but what seems to be missing is a connection and coordination between these fine organizations, which would gain the leverage necessary to truly advance the cause of peace globally.

Wellness includes not just food, but nutritious food, provided in an efficient manner. A good example of this is the “Nourish The Children” initiative, which not only works synergistically with Feed The Children (among others) to distribute the nutritional meals, but further establishes that they are served in schools (encouraging recipients to education), and ultimately the ingredients for the meals are grown locally, which advances agriculture, makes societies more self-reliant, and saves on distribution expense. Working in a synergistic manner makes sense on a global scale. Wellness also includes medicine and physician care, and begins with clean drinking water. All of these critical ingredients need to be in place in a coordinated way.

Education includes the building of schools and the development of practical instruction for the needs of the populace (agriculture, basic industrial development, etc.). The mechanical aspect of constructing schools, and providing instructors and lessons, are addressed by various organizations globally and locally, and have been for decades.

Opportunity is created when there is a populace that is well, nourished, educated and capable of working in a productive way. The initial opportunities are in improving the conditions surrounding them, becoming self-sufficient, and ultimately becoming part of the growing global economy. “The Rise of the Rest” was written by Fareed Zakaria and published in Newsweek on May 3, 2008, describing the elevation of countries like India into the global marketplace as a result of self-empowerment and development. This article assured the reader that what might be seen as the decline of the western nations in global market dominance was actually the right and logical conclusion of other nations becoming empowered and operating competitively in the free markets.

Connection and communication are the critical ingredients that Ones in a Lifetime has chosen to focus on. True opportunity for advancement typically comes through a process of convergence, which loosely defined is when two or more changes combine to create a condition that did not previously exist. In the course of recent advancements there is no clearer example of opportunity than that shown in the area of communication technologies. As described by Peter Gabriel in discussion interview with Sir Richard Branson relating to the formation of The Elders, “… there’s a unique opportunity now, because for the first time in our evolution we have devices that can potentially link up any person on the planet’s surface with any other person, so the chances of getting real listening happening from the ground allowing everyone to tell their own story in their own voices …” This unique opportunity exists because of the advance in communication and connection technology, through cell phones, social media, and portable computing devices. It is in this critical ingredient for peace that Ones in a Lifetime is identifying an opportunity to change the landscape globally.

Said founder Dan Shutt, “What we have found is that as people connect and communicate across borders and generations, genders and religions with other people around the world, then understanding, respect and appreciation increase. In ‘protecting our interests’ abroad, the human aspect is coming into sharp focus as our primary interest. Typically, people who are communicating freely and understanding each other do not end up in violent conflict. There will be differences always, and there will be disagreements as a result, but the chance to significantly improve connection between individuals has never been greater than today, and the prospects of that impact on global peace are exhilarating.”

The Ones in a Lifetime Party celebrating that unique moment at 11:11:11 on 11/11/11 has therefore become a "grand opening" for a larger endeavor behind it. The "after-party" will consist of an increasing number of affiliate members coordinating activities, raising awareness and engaging individuals around the world wherever the internet can be accessed. In so doing, a strategy can be enacted to truly go to peace, rather than go to war, and clearly identify those critical ingredients for peace and provide them. The platform provides a path for individuals to become involved, and for their own voices and concerns to be heard by the world. The site features a chat function whic translates up to 50 languages in real-time, a video chat feature, a "Recipe for Peace" feature allowing members to share recipes and enjoy cuisine from various cultures, member suggested videos in keeping with the inspirational themes of peace and good works, and much more, all included in membership which is free for all.

The end of conflict is where peace begins but that alone is not enough. By changing how we look at peace, and providing the platform for connection and communication, Ones in a Lifetime intends to connect the world, ONE PEACE at a time. Details of the event and the ongoing endeavor can be seen at the website, and there you can join and be a part of where history meets the future.

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Dan Shutt
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