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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time to Teach Peace

Recent violence in Afghanistan, continued killing and arrests of civilians in Syria, conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, killings in Northern Nigeria, shooting of a teenager, Traven Martin, in the US are just some very sad examples of how human beings behave to gain control over a situation.

Let us take a minute and go back in time, into the childhood of the aggressors in these events. I wonder how many of them received formal or informal peace education growing up? If they heard conversations at home around the importance of peace and its impact on their well-being? If they had the opportunity to go to school, they had peace education as part of the curriculum?

When we learn certain values in our childhood, we are very likely to retain them all our lives. Our personality is mostly shaped in our early years. Therefore, we, as States, schools, parents, must find ways to integrate peace education in our homes, classrooms, and in our society at large.

Little jingles and poems with simple messages can be written and taught to toddlers that can have a long lasting impact on them. Many cultures already have a treasure of peace related stories, poems and some countries like New Zealand (http://www.disarmsecure.org/Peace_Education_in_Schools.pdf) have peace curriculum in some of their schools. Here are a couple of examples of peace poems (can be translated in other languages) for little children:

Peace with my brother and peace with my sister,
way of life, way of life
No more quarreling, more and more smiling,
that's my life, that's my life
— Anjana Dayal


Or a poem written by a child (http://favicons.blogspot.com/2012/04/poems-by-children-on-diversity.html)
Peace begins with saying sorry.
Peace begins with not hurting others.
Peace begins with honesty and trust.
Peace begins with showing cooperation and respect.
World Peace Begins With ME!
--Halley Hall 

As responsible adults, lets make simple modifications in our educational systems to ensure that our future generation has better skills for conflict resolution because with increased sophistication in the weapons, humanity will not be able to survive many wars. Therefore, my dear readers, as we teach our kids to walk, let us teach them to walk on the way of peace...

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