We Become What We Learn
In our schools and universities we study wars and political conflicts, we discuss them, dissect them and promote them, but seldom do we teach how to avoid them.
There seems to be no lack of information on how to wage war, but not in what is required for Peace.
We need to start teaching Peace.
Time To Learn New Lessons
For too long we have been teaching our children how to fight, especially our boys. From the time they are able to grasp a toy we put a gun in it. If they are mean to each other we are told it's just "BOYS being BOYS". It makes them "tough"!
We develop video games that train them how to kill, steal and maim each other.
We train them to be WINNERS! No matter what the cost to others.
Then we wonder why there is so much violence in our world.
Why young men kill each other for an ipod.
It's time to start teaching new lessons...the old ones aren't working so well.
"If we are to reach real peace in this world...we shall have to begin with children"
- Mahatma Gandhi
A letter to my Son...
Be a "just" man my Son...
In your life, Son, pray to be a "just" man. Your life is precious and sacred, and your first right as a human being is your right to life. So as you would ask natural justice of your fellow travelers in respecting your right to life, then you too must give "justice" and respect to every person's right to life.
This means, my little son, that you must never kill another human being.
It will not be easy for you to refuse to kill. Sadly we live in a world where those who refuse to kill and chose to live nonviolent lives are looked upon as naive or cowards. Yes, it will take all of your courage to walk unarmed and to refuse to hate and kill, in a World which insists that you must have enemies and be prepared to kill them before they kill you.
Stand tall and strong, armed only with love, dear Son, and refuse to hate, refuse to have enemies, refuse to let Fear master your life. Only love can bring down the barriers of hate and enmity between people and nations. Hate and weapons only fuel the fear and bring closer the day of war.
Let no one plant in your heart the false seed of pride in any country's flag, a seed that produces the flower of nationalism which grows wildly, trampling and killing all life around it.
Remember always, Son, people are more important than countries.
from "A Letter to My Son Luke" - Mairead Corrigan Maguire - Nobel Peace Prize (1976)
What Is The Purpose Of Peace Education?
Peace Education is about empowering people with the skills, attitudes, and knowledge:
*to build, maintain, and restore relationships at all levels of human interaction.
*to develop positive approaches towards dealing with conflicts -from the personal to the international.
*to create safe environments, both physically and emotionally, that nurture each individual.
*to create a safe world based on justice and human rights.
*to build a sustainable environment and protect it from exploitation and war.
Peace education is based on a philosophy that teaches nonviolence, love, compassion, trust, fairness, cooperation and reverence for the human family and all life on our planet.
Skills include communication, listening, understanding different perspectives, cooperation, problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, conflict resolution, and social responsibility.
Peace education leads to peaceful living.
Article source: Fran Schmidt, the founder of Peace Works in Miami, Florida.
From a Student of Peace...
"When mankind matures, it leaves behind itself adolescent views of the world, and a more mature and peaceful civilisation is born. Achieving this growth and development and spirituality will become the source of true strength and cooperation among people. Peace is possible only in mature societies where a universal worldview and the mentality are in place.
A civilisation of peace is possible where universal love exists, a love which does not exclude anyone and which is addressed to everyone. The more we create love and unity in diversity, the less there will be hate and wars."
Diko Besovi, Teacher of Sports, 2nd Gymnasium, Sarajevo
Peace is not achieved by controlling nations, but mastering our thoughts.
Education For Peace
There are several groups that are helping to teach Peace in the world.
Education For Peace is one of them.
The aim and challenge of the Education for Peace program is to educate every new generation of students to become peacemakers and to devote their talents, capacities and energies towards the creation of a civilization of peace based on the twin pillars of a culture of peace and a culture of healing. This requires the full immersion of students in a systematic and sustained program of study on the principles of peace, through the integration of these principles into the daily lessons of every subject. EFP has established three inter-related programs to accomplish these objectives: EFP-Intensive, EFP-World and the Youth Peace-builder Network. EFP-Leadership also helps to sustain these objectives by training leaders in peace-centered leadership.
United Nations University For Peace
The mission of the United Nations University for Peace is: "to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations."
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."
~ Jimi Hendrix
Canadian School of Peacebuilding
The Canadian School of Peacebuilding (CSOP) has been created to serve practitioners, professionals, activists, students, non-governmental organizations and faith- based groups engaged in peacebuilding. Its goal is to serve peacebuilders around the world by bringing them together in a collaborative learning community, nurturing and equipping them for various forms of peace practice and exposing them to some of the most significant, emerging ideas and teachers in the field.
Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education - Vancouver, Canada
The Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education is committed to the Dalai Lama's vision "to develop the heart, be compassionate, work for peace in your heart and in the world."
Founded in 2005 with the active support of the Dalai Lama, the Vancouver based Center has no religious or political affiliation. It will build upon the Dalai Lama's unique and compelling appeal as a world figure who reaches out to all people with a message of compassion, kindness and mutual understanding.
Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace
The purpose of Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace (CCTP) is to bring together all peoples of the world in the promotion of lasting peace through "thinking globally and acting locally", building peace in the community, strategic action planning, networking, information sharing, through various means, including our annual conferences on peace education.
"We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change.
Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."
~ Howard Zinn (Historian) ~