Children will not learn peace as a way of life without special efforts on our part. Choosing to train children as peacekeepers is a big responsibility. It requires the courage to be “different,” and have children seen as “different,” in a competitive and adversarial dominant culture. It means being creative in a society that still has not developed ways to live in peace. It requires commitment, day by day, to set the values, skills, and behaviors of the peacekeeper at the top of the list of what’s important for us and for our children. We must make it our conscious goal to raise our children as human beings who can live in relationships of peace.
Adapted from The Peace Book by Louise Diamond
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Try to educate the children in your life to be aware of the kinds of personal violence that can be done unthinkingly: put-downs, rudeness, disrespect for those who are different from them, shaming, blaming, and holding grudges. Avoid toys and videos that glamorize violence.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
There is no trust more sacred than the one the world holds with children. There is no duty more important than ensuring that their rights are respected, that their welfare is protected, that their lives are free from fear and want and that they grow up in peace.
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
But peace does not rest in the charters and covenants alone. It lies in the hearts and minds of all people. So let us not rest all our hopes on parchment and on paper, let us strive to build peace, a desire for peace, a willingness to work for peace in the hearts and minds of all of our people. I believe that we can. I believe the problems of human destiny are not beyond the reach of human beings.
John F. Kennedy
Unless we teach our children peace, somebody else will teach them violence.
We’re never going to have respectful and reverential relationships with the planet- and sensible policies about what we put in the air, the soil, the water – if very young children don’t begin learning about these things literally in their houses, backyards, streets and schools. We need to have human beings who are oriented that way from their earliest memories.