Creating Peace in the Face of War
The Peaceful Parenting Newsletter
A free e-mail newsletter from Naomi Drew
A mother recently said to me, Just when we feel like things are starting to settle down, something else happens. How can we ever get our grounding again? She voiced the words I felt since news of the invasion of Afghanistan and bioterrorism have been permeating the airways. We are now faced with questions like:
- How can we create a peaceful world in the face of all this violence?
- How can we, as a species, move beyond war as the answer to our conflicts?
- What are the most essential lessons we need to learn from these events? The search for solace and direction lead me back to the wisdom of some of our greatest thinkers. Listen to their words:
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
The world is now interdependent, interconnected. The concept of we and they is gone: harming your neighbor is actually harming yourself.
The Dalai Lama
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith.
John Foster Dulles, former Secretary of State
The transcendent truth is that a meaningful and creative peace is possible and that it is within our means to fashion a world which is safe and fit for human beings.
The question that remains is how? How do we fashion a world which is safe and fit for all human beings? How do we move beyond our divisions and start to understand our common humanity?
What becomes most clear is that we must learn more about those with whom we share this earth. We must come to know those we see as the other, in the quest for mutual understanding. Herein lives the hope that the web which binds us all will be healed and strengthened, never to be torn apart again.
In peace, Naomi Drew
author Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids
Creating Peace: Doing What You Can Where You Can
There is a prayer of peace from the Ojibwa Tribe of North America that goes like this:
Sacred One, teach us love, compassion, and honor that we may heal the earth and heal each other.
One of the steps toward healing is to do what you can where you can. We may not be able to control world events, but we can do certain things right in our own homes, schools, and neighborhoods. Action in the face of fear empowers us and gives us hope. We gain strength and courage each time we take action, and truly, there are so many things we can do. Take a look below and choose an action step that will not only empower you, but will provide essential role modeling for your children.
- Be peace. Always remember that peace begins with you. Here are some ways to express it:
* Make every moment of your life an opportunity to express compassion, care, and kindness.
* Resolve your conflicts respectfully.
* Eliminate put-downs, particularly in your home.
* Express anger without diminishing the dignity of another person. Be authentic without being hurtful.
- Teach peace. Have a family meeting and elicit the commitment of your entire family to do all of the above. Model what your children need to learn. On my website, Learningpeace.com, you will find conflict resolution activities you can do with your children. Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids also contains a plethora of such activities. Start now. Every day is an opportunity to make a difference.
- Accelerate your listening. In her phenomenal book, My Grandfathers Wisdom, Rachel Naomi Remen says: When you listen, the integrity and wholeness in others moves closer. Your attention strengthens it and makes it easier for them to hear it in themselves. In your presence, they can more easily inhabit that in them which is beyond their limitations.
Listen with all your heart, especially to what your children have to say.
- Reach out. Gandhi urges us to think about the poorest person we know of and to ask ourselves this question each day: What am I doing to help? Choose an action step. Involve your family. We can change the world one person at a time, starting with you.
Make a Difference Now
The father of a former student of mine was killed in the attack on the World Trade Center. There are four young children in the family 9 and under, and even before this happened there was difficulty making ends meet. The mother was not working outside of the home when this tragedy took place. The school the children attend has set up a fund to help. Please consider contributing even if it is a small amount. Anything you can send is much needed and will be immensely appreciated. Please make checks payable to:
The Millicent Robinson Family Fund
35 Cambridge Rd.
Kendall Park, NJ 08824
C/O Anna Pinelli
May the innocents who lost their lives
inspire us to search for peace.
Let us come together in support of each other,
so the spirit of peace may never be extinguished by hatred.
Only with love, compassion and forgiveness
can we build a better world.
(adapted from Beleifnet.com)
Love and peace to all of you!
Peaceful Parenting Coaching
Peaceful Parenting Coaching enables parents to work individually, as couples, or with their children on practical strategies that create greater harmony, less conflict. Sessions can be done by phone or in person. Crisis coaching is also available.
To schedule a complimentary "Peaceful Parenting" coaching session by phone, e-mail Naomi Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 609-844-1138.
Naomi Drew is the author of three books, all available through Amazon.com:
Peaceful Parents, Peaceful Kids (Kensington Publishers)
Learning the Skills of Peacemaking (Jalmar Press)
The Peaceful Classroom in Action (Jalmar Press)
Peaceful Parenting is a free bi-weekly service. Please share this newsletter.
Copyright Naomi Drew, August, 2001 All Rights Reserved.
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