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World Peace – Led by Children

362. World Peace – Led by Children

I finished a book titled World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements by John Hunter. For many years as a teacher, he has played The World Peace Game with his classes of 4th-graders. For an hour a day for eight weeks he hands them the world—with four countries with various assets, with 50 world problems they have to solve. He appoints prime-ministers—and they work at it. It’s a good read.

And it confirmed for me where I’m coming out on peace and war. I’m almost a pacifist but I somehow still can’t stand squarely in that place. But I do stand in the place that says peace and cooperation, living up to our values, those are all first things first. I want us to reach out, stand with the United Nations, not do preemptive strikes. I want us to become peacemakers and that’s not a comfortable role for this country. But it’s where I am and where I want the country to be.

We have a knee-jerk response to situations and our over-all tendency is to react with violence. We cover up what our violence is really doing. We react and then act in our own self-interest. Then we put a spin on what we are doing that sounds good and whose purpose it is to convince the people that it is a worthy cause we are involved in. We lie if necessary.

I found myself applauding 4th-graders who were using their brains and their imaginations, who were thinking creatively, who were focused on creating peace. Not just a temporary peace but a lasting one because in the World Peace Game they were learning how to do it.

Remember the song—all we are saying, is give peace a chance. I think truly that we don’t do that. And the need is desperate. Can adults try? Perhaps these youngsters will grow up and remember their times of making peace. And yet I’m not sure that we have time to wait for that.

I believe the other reality is that regardless of what the leadership of the country is doing and saying, the people of the country (us) have to do and say also. There needs to be a rising up that says: we won’t go to war! we don’t want ever again to use nuclear weapons! we want peace!

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