“International Day of Peace”–Daily Metta

September 21:

gandhi-21“I can say with confidence that if the world is to have peace, nonviolence is the means to that end and no other.”

–Gandhi (Harijan, July 20, 1947)

On International Day of Peace, what better way to celebrate than to remember that peace is something we can–must–learn. It is not a question of being born peaceful or not, it’s a matter of given the necessary tools to understand, manage and transform violence within us and around us. It’s a day, in other words, to lift up peace education itself.

Colman McCarthy was an acclaimed journalist for The Washington Post, when he was asked to teach a class on writing in an impoverished DC public school. His response is one that would melt the heart of any peace educator around the world, “I would rather teach peace.” And so he did, for the next twenty-five years of his life, developing new approaches not only to sharing the content of nonviolence and conflict resolution, but incorporating these ideas pedagogically. Grades? Too violent… How does this material transform your world? This is what he wanted to know, to learn how to measure.

One student, he remembers, turned in a thirteen word “essay” at the end of the semester, summarizing what he had learned from the great teachers of nonviolence worldwide to whom they were introduced throughout his course. It is something that should be etched in our minds:

Why are we violent but not illiterate? Because we are taught to read.


Experiment in Nonviolence:

Discuss the student’s essay with a friend today or journal about it.