Teaching Peace

“I have nothing new to teach the world.  Truth and Non-violence are as old as the hills.  All I have done is to try experiments in both as vast a scale as I could”  -Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi as a Symbol of Peace, Ciwara Pilot Alternative School.  Kati, Mali, West Africa
Gandhi as a Symbol of Peace, Ciwara Pilot Alternative School. Kati, Mali, West Africa

Education and kids have been on my mind lately, as I am sure is true for many Americans and people around the world in light of last week’s events.

My reaction to violence is to embrace non-violence.  There is a great quote by Mother Teresa that I love that goes….

“I was once asked why I don’t participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I’ll be there.”   –Mother Teresa

Love this, as it exemplifies the power of positive and energy that you put into what you are doing.  Do you fight evil with more evil, or do you transform it by turning it around and fighting evil with goodness?

I have eight nieces and nephews that go to school everyday.  What is their daily experience?  What is the world like that they are growing up in?

I ask you, a global citizen no matter where you are reading this…the US, West Africa, the Netherlands, China, Ecuador, Cuba…wherever.  Don’t we want safety and education for our world no matter what country we call home?  Or skin color?  Or religious beliefs?  The list goes on.  Let’s begin with peace within, and the circle moves out.  Help build a better world for the little people who will grow up in whatever world we leave them.

To show an example of peace portrayed in a school setting,  I wanted to share an experience in the West African country of Mali.  I was there doing research in the state school system involving evaluating the effectiveness of a new reading program, where students were learning to read in their native language (this part of Africa is mostly French, although there are many, many local languages.) in hopes to increase literacy nation0wide.  The details I don’t want to focus on, but what I do want to focus on is some of the key values that the flagship pilot school built its programs on.

MLK as a Symbol of people at school in Kati, Mali.
MLK as a Symbol of people at school in Kati, Mali.

There was a hallway that had leaders in the peace movement posted all with the name of the person and where they were from.  Among them was Gandhi and Martin Luther King, who both showed you can achieve great things by well-thought out and strategic peaceful movements.  Every day these children walk down that hall, in their very humble and simple school house, seeing these leaders.

I am including some photos, to share with you my experience a bit, but hopefully also to show you that education, children, beauty and daily is universal.  We all have differences, but peace is a no-brainier to me.

Happy Monday people, and let it be a great day.

Classroom in Mali, West Africa

Malian research colleagues, Niger River Banks, Mali, West Africa.
Malian research colleagues, Niger River Banks, Mali, West Africa.
Colleague doing observation....Malian women are  GORGEOUS!
Colleague doing observation….Malian women are GORGEOUS!
Malian children learning to read in their native language.
Malian children learning to read in their native language.
Rural classroom setting
Rural classroom setting
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5 Comments Add yours

  1. I think this can be my favorite blog. I love seeing how we share the same views and I love more that you are so positive, enthusiastic about life and good principles and you remind me that sometimes I am too grumpy and I should see life under a different perspective! Thank you for this blog, you do a lot…

    1. Those are such nice words beinquisitive! Thanks for making me one of your favorites. Perspective is everything, but I think connection is pretty far up there to. Blogging is fun because you get to connect, share ideas, stuff like that. I look forward to connecting!

      Thanks again for reading. It means alot. 🙂

  2. Ajay Kaul says:

    Lovely blog – felt very refreshing reading through it. Thx for posting!

    1. Thanks so much, it is appreciated, and thanks for reading. Looks like we have some similar interests looking at your blog 🙂

      Happy Monday to you Ajay!

      1. Ajay Kaul says:

        Yes – love the positivity in your blog. Happy Monday to you too!

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