Goodnights Across the World

In September we celebrate World Peace Day. As night falls this evening, families across the world will have different prayers, rituals, and lullabies. But as we adults gaze down on our loved ones, we’ll all share the same wish. Peace. . . Peace.


“Don’t let the bedbugs bite,” an American girl says, kissing her dad.

A Scottish father whispers, “Sleep well, my precious lassie and lad.”

Chinese twins asks for the bedtime stories they like best,

Whether North, South, East, or West, people wish one another a peaceful rest.

“Buenas noches, my precious bambino,” Papi says with a kiss.

Mammi sings a lullaby, a favorite of her culture, the Swiss.

A daughter asks for Anasi, the spider story Auntie Bibi used to tell.

Whatever the ancestry, families wish one another Good night, sleep well.


“Dobranoc,” a Polish brother says, handing his sister her well-loved teddy bear.

“Bon nuit, ma petite enfant,” Grand-mère whispers, stroking her grandson’s hair.

“Gute Nacht,” a German stepson says, turning off the bedtime TV show.

Whatever the accent, families say their goodnights, just so.

A Norwegian grandmother dims the lights and shares stories of long ago.

Tutu and Tutu-man from Hawaii end their call with, “Good night until tomorrow.”

A Cherokee father tells a favorite legend of a bird and human in flight.

Whatever the ritual, voices harmonize as families wish one another a good night.


“Lilah Tov,” a Jewish mother says, covering her son with her shawl.

After night prayers a Muslim father whispers, “Mercy, peace and grace to us all.”

Mum recites a Celtic blessing, comfort from the storm.

Whatever the faith, parents tuck their children in, safe and warm.

Whether bedtime stories, blessings, or goodnight lullabies,

Voices together gain strength and harmonize.

All across this planet, from rolling waves to mountains steep,

We wish one another sweet dreams and a peaceful sleep.

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