…And World Peace

Reading Black Ants & Buddhists Chapter 5 was rather touching.  I will admit that even in my 7th-grade social studies class sometimes, my students will say things along the lines of a ‘but why can’t we all just get along’ and ‘war is senseless,’ in different words.  Violence and complexities of war and conflict worldwide and even domestically many times don’t make sense to children, nor should they; conflict is when your sister won’t let you borrow her favorite jacket (even though you didn’t ask); war is a card game.  I’m oversimplifying, but you know what I mean?  If we look at young children as a truer form of humanity (less experienced, less bitter, perhaps even more empathetic), we can take their capacity and inclination toward forgiveness and peace as human nature, and the larger question becomes not “What can I or we do to promote world peace,” though that is a compelling question to explore, but “Why do we fight?” What is it about adults and governments and militaries that make wars happen?  What changes from the point Mary Cowhey’s 1st graders are, willing to even smoke (the absolute worst thing!) if it would stop all wars, to the corrupt? violent? immoral? disconnected? point where war is a part of our every day life, and we can talk about it, joke about it, watch it on TV, for Pete’s sake.  This could be rather tangential, but these are my thoughts. How have we come to this point?  How can we foster and support the development of this seemingly innate inclination for kids to value peace and reconciliation, instead of revenge and violence?

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About kellinajo

Avid vegetable eater and giraffe enthusiast; cupcaker and nanny extraordinaire. Elementary Education and Spanish UIUC College of Education Class of 2013 Teach for America Indianapolis 2013 Corps
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One Response to …And World Peace

  1. eplain1 says:

    Kelly I really agree with your ideas that children are a truer form of humanity. It’s nearly impossible to explain to children why we have wars, most likely because I couldn’t try to come up with a justification myself. The whole nonsensical purpose of killing to bring peace obviously comes up, and how do you try to go about teaching children that instead of rationally discussing our ideas, we try to kill each other? Super post, I really dig this.

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