Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Participating in Peace Day

Today the kids and I participated in the International Day of Peace by making our own pinwheels, and sharing our wishes for peace.

I found out about the Pinwheels for Peace Project in an email I had received from our local Girl Scout council, and I really liked the idea of incorporating this hands-on project into our discussion of peace. The concept of "peace" can be polarizing from a political standpoint, but I like this website's explanation of what this is all about:

This is not political. Peace doesn't necessarily have to be associated with the conflict of war, it can be related to violence/intolerance in our daily lives, to peace of mind. To each of us, peace can take on a different meaning, but, in the end, it all comes down to a simple definition: a state of calm and serenity, with no anxiety, the absence of violence, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people or groups of people.

As we created our pinwheels, the kids and I talked about our wishes for peace. Big Sister went with a very broad wish "for peace in the world". Little Brother was having a really hard time coming up with something. He agreed that peace was something he wanted, but he couldn't think of what he wanted to say. I told him that one of my wishes would be for people not to put others down and make them feel bad. You know his response to that? He laughed. He laughed and told me that I was dreaming. How sad is it when a seven year old is already so jaded that he can't see the possibility for kindness between human beings? I was really surprised by his response, and it makes me all the more aware that there is a need to keep compassion alive in our kids. And we're not even living in a war-torn nation - imagine how ridiculous peace must seem for a child growing up with war and violence in their own backyard.

In the end, Little Brother settled on a message for his pinwheel: Peace means no more fighting. Someday... (oh, the irony of the Kung Fu Panda pencil, lol)