Monday, June 20, 2011
Parents are the primary teachers of language. By the time a child enters the first grade the foundation of his/her spoken language is in place. The language she hears from day to day is the language she will use to communicate and develop relationships with society as a whole. I spent the last week listening to common, everyday language to find common phrases that either reflected a peaceful attitude about human relationships or those that we might reconsider. What do you think small children just learning to communicate might learn from hearing the following: "Those are fighting words, man." "You idiot, that's not how you do it." "Somebody needs to take him out to the woodshed and teach him a lesson." "Stoning's too good for her!" "I'd kill for a juicy hamburger!" You might think I'm crazy but what if we used the following substitutes, respectively. "I have to respectfully disagree with you." "Where did you learn to do that that way?" "That person's behavior is not something I would like for you to repeat. It is disrespectful and harmful." "People who commit crimes like that are detrimental to society." "I'd pay a million dollars for a juicy hamburger." Do you think making these changes would have any impact at all on choices our children make when they enter adolescence and adulthood?
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Peace begins with concensus - not rule by the majority or levels of authority. In a school for peace the foundation should be based on decision making by a team of individuals who rule by concensus. When everyone is satisfied with a decision before it is implemented, the project will have true support. In rule by the majority only fifty-one percent of those voting are invested in the outcome of the decision. They have been "forced" to accept a path they don't believe in or support so the conflict continues.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
When I thought about what to write on this title, I suddenly realized I had no information about how to make peace. I am a retired educator so I naturally thought about what I would do if I wanted to learn how to do anything. I would research and learn from "the experts." I then wondered where are the schools for peace? I could only think of one and that was the work of Clyde Bellecourt at his Peacemaking Center in Minneapolis. Perhaps there are more, but I didn't begin a search because I realized that I could name at least three well-known military academies where war was taught and then I thought about the biggest educator of war in this country - the military itself. Then, like Blair Warner from "The Facts of Life," I had another of my "brilliant ideas." What if the government pulled our troops out of Afghanistan within the next six months and took the money saved and established schools of peace all over the country? Teachers would benefit because it would create lots of new jobs in education. Construction industry would benefit as well as all the support services for educational facilities.Could this be an economic stimulus package? In my crazy imagination I am now envisioning what the curriculum of these schools would be and jobs for students graduating with a degree in "peace." I would like to open my blog to a brainstorming session about this idea and will be publishing my ideas about these schools for peace in the next few months. Feel free to join the brainstorm. Remember the rules in brainstorming, don't qualify the idea, just put it out on the table first.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Mahatma Gandhi said, "An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind." It's time to rethink the endless cycle of blind man's bluff being played out all over the world. This blight of tit for tat and might makes right is a "log" in our eyes that prevents us from doing as Jesus said in Matthew 7:5, "First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."
Monday, June 6, 2011
These words are great reminders of who's really responsible for peace. It's not the diplomats, world leaders or even the military, it is each one of us. There can be no peace if we are not peaceful. Remember these words the next time you want to lash out either with words of violence, violent gestures or physical attacks toward someone who has cut you off in traffic or expressed very firmly an opinion that is directly opposed to your opionion that is just as firm. How can we expect anyone to choose love and tolerance over anger and retaliation, if we can't?
Friday, June 3, 2011
The sun came out on the Oregon Coast this morning and its beauty drew me to the peaceful, idlylic setting of my backyard "park." I took my morning coffee and sat on the bench at the perimeter of my patio that is surrounded by tall Oregon firs, Waxmyrtle trees, wild rhodies, huckleberry and salal. I sat down and opened my robe to embrace the warm rays of the sun shining brightly in a cloudless blue sky. I felt the fresh Oregon breeze whose chill was moderated by the sun's warm rays. I closed my eyes and listened to the wind, the birds, the chipmunks and squirrels singing and chatting. I was filled with such gratitude, peace, love and joy and I knew at that moment that I had truly "nothing to kill or die for." In that moment I said the following prayer: "God, Allah, Great Spirit, Great Mystery, Heavenly Father, Mother Earth, Sister Sky, Creator of All whose wisdom, peace, love and joy is expressed in the words of Jesus, the Prophet Muhammed, Buddah and all the living creatures of the Natural World, at this time in this present moment may all those who turn to you for peace, love and joy truly know that there is "nothing to kill or die for." And so it is.
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
A peace consciousness has to exist in societies in order for peace to exist. Peace cannot exist when there is an imbalance in this consciousness. The natural world is raging because there is imbalance that has been created by centuries of abuse of the earth's natural resources that were created in balance in order to sustain us. Recent weather related disasters are evidence of a natural world seeking balance. In addition, the whole world is "at war" and the world's leaders seem to be at a loss to find how to stop the spreading wildfire. I believe the first step in making peace is to reach back into history and follow the Great Law of Peace established by the Onondaga chief who brought the six warring nations of the Iroquois Confederacy together in peace when their societies were facing the same challenge. That peace and prosperity lasted for 400 years and the Confederacy dominated the entire region around the Great Lakes area of North America until English colonists destroyed that peace and established the "democracy" known as the United States of America and violated the principles of The Great Law of Peace that would keep that country strong and peaceful. These are:
- empowering women with political and economic power that would keep restraints on the testosterone driven impluses of the male nature - 1. power of appointment of chiefs to represent the tribe at the Grand Council and remove the chiefs if they violated any part of the Covenant Chain. 2. controlling all the property and passing all propery through the female line of the clan. 3. absolute veto over decisions to go to war.
- conflict mediation at yearly councils with perceived insults settled by group concensus
- stewardship of the earth and its resources rather than control because of being bought or "won" in war