I remember being told as a fresh graduate going into the world of work that I should go into the world as peacemakers. Interestingly, I was meant to know that my friends were also told the same thing.
One will begin to wonder if this is so, why is it that in most schools, peace is so insignificant that no place is found for it in the curriculum? If graduates are advised to go into the world of work as peacemakers, how can they project the characteristics of a peacemaker if they did not learn it? Also, if peace is the yearning of every heart, why aren’t we studying it and teaching it in schools?
After all the violence that happened around us, taking desperate measures towards peacebuilding, peace education, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence that will facilitate in building a world of peace is crucial for today’s and tomorrow’s peaceful society. Speaking from my experience with our Teach Peace Early learners, contrary to what some might say, with open minds and receptive hearts, peace can be taught and learned. Our over 2000 students who go through the 15 Modules Lesson Plan on Peace Education learn the cost of violence, positive ways of resolving conflicts, empathy, tolerance, non-violence communication, etc in various “Peace Lab” in Nigerian schools displays impact that motivates us to do more.
What we have been teaching is peace through nonviolence. Nonviolence is about creating peace in our own hearts, often the last place many people ever find it.
The sharpest phrase is peace through soul force or, to rely on Mahatma Gandhi’s favorite word, satyagraha. It is a nonviolent force. The force of justice, the force of love, the force of sharing wealth, the force of ideas, the force of organized resistance to corrupt power.
Fighting with those kinds of forces is the essence of nonviolence. To teach peace through nonviolence is to give the young a chance to develop this philosophy of peace through soul force.
Our student #PeaceVibers are a bracing mix of intellectuals and seekers of peace whose company is unimaginably uplifting and inspiring to watch as they grow their skills in the field of peace. Whether they are in elementary school or high school, we try to create a class atmosphere in which the study and discussion of nonviolence is directed toward giving everyone a chance to embrace a life of both personal and community peacemaking. The act of doing the works of peace and justice in a small way, the ideas and ideals of nonviolence are all coming back to us.
If you want to join us and focus on some positive ways to promote peace in our world, you can volunteer for our not-for-profit community organization that works toward making peace a practical and sustainable reality in communities. Ask how you can get more involved in promoting peace through e-mail in firstname.lastname@example.org. We would also love to hear your thoughts regarding what else we can do to prevent violence and cultivate peace in our fragile world. -by Wine Amanda