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The Sunflower Story

The Peaceful Parenting Newsletter
Issue #20
A free e-mail newsletter from Naomi Drew

A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about his feelings. He said, I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is vengeful, angry, and violent. The other wolf is loving and compassionate.

The grandson asked him, Which wolf will win the
fight in your heart?

The grandfather answered, The one I feed.


Dear Friends,
As the wolf of war continues to be fed throughout the world, I receive many messages of ways the wolf of peace is also being fed. Today I offer you two wonderful stories that confirm that the wolf of peace is not going hungry. The first is a story of peace called The Message of the Sunflowers, and it was written by a very special woman named Georgianna Moore who recently passed away. This story is part of the vision and legacy Georgianna leaves to all of us. Her husband shared with me that Georgianna had hoped to have her story published as a book for children. If anyone out there can help make this happen, I am sure Georgianna will send you special blessing. Please share her story with your children.

The next piece is equally inspiring. It is an article about what happened when twenty Nobel Laureates came together and asked the United Nations to declare a Decade of Nonviolence. As you read about the results of their efforts, please remember that even in the face of violence, peace IS possible.

May these stories remind us that as long as the sun rises in the sky, there are hopes for peace. But we cannot rely merely on hope -- it is essential that we translate our concerns into action. Our actions have the power to change the world. We must never forget this, and we must teach it to our children. With every action we take to create peace within ourselves, within our homes, within our communities, and within our world, we affect the future that our children will inherit. And, I ask you, is there anything more important?

As you read the following stories, ask yourself this question: What is my role in creating peace? Then ask your children the same question. Remember, peace starts with each of us regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, or color. The quest for peace is rooted in our hearts and germinates through our actions. What actions will you take to feed the wolf of peace?

Love to all of you,
Naomi

_________________________________________________________________


The Message of the Sunflowers:
A Magic Symbol of Peace
by
Georgianna Moore

Dedicated to
The Children of the World
Who Will Sow the Sunflower Seeds of Peace

Once upon a time the earth was even more beautiful than it is today. The water was pure and deep, reflecting within itself the sunlight which gave life to all the creatures beneath the waves.

The earth was green with many kinds of trees and plants. These gave food and shelter to the birds, the animals, and to all mankind. At night the air was so clear that the starlight gave a glow almost as bright as the moon.

The people of the earth lived close to nature. They understood it and honored it and never took more than what they needed from it. The people lived in peace so they prospered and began to build many nations all
around the world according to nature's climate.

But one day, a terrible thing happened. A strange spirit of greed entered the hearts of mankind. People began to be jealous of one another, and they were not satisfied will all the good things they already had. The nations wanted more and more of everything: more land, more water, more resources. They squeezed precious minerals from the earth to build terrible weapons to defend their nations from other greedier nations. They killed one another. They polluted the air and the water with poisons. Nature began to die. This is called war. War is ugly. It destroys love and hope and peace.
Then one day a magical thing occurred. The birds of the air, the animals of the land, and the creatures beneath the waters came to an agreement: if they were to survive, something would have to be done to stop these wars. Only through peace could their world survive.

We cannot speak the human language, they declared, and mankind
can no longer understand ours. We must find among us a symbol of peace so brilliant that all who see it will stop and remember that peace and sharing are beautiful.

I am what you need, said a golden sunflower. I am tall and
bright. My leaves are food for the animals, my yellow petals can turn
plain cloth to gold, my seeds are many and are used for food by all living
beings. Yet, the seeds I drop upon the ground can take root and I will
grow again and again. I can be your symbol of peace.

All nature rejoiced, and it was decided that the birds would each take one sunflower seed and that they would fly over every nation and plant the seed in the earth as a gift. The seeds took root and grew, and the
sunflowers multiplied.

Wherever the sunflowers grew, there seemed to be a special golden glow in the air. The people could not ignore such a magical sight.

Soon they began to understand the message of the sunflowers so they decided to destroy all of their terrible weapons and to put an end to
the greed and to the fear of war. They chose the sunflower as a symbol of
peace and new life for all the world to recognize and understand.

A ceremony was celebrated by planting a whole field of sunflowers. Artists painted pictures of the sunflowers, writers wrote about them, and the people of the world were asked to plant more sunflowers seeds as a symbol of remembrance.

All nature rejoiced once more as the golden sunflowers stood tall with their faces turned eastward to the rising sun, then following the sun
until the setting in the west.

They gave their goodness to the world so that everyone who sees a
sunflower will know that the golden light of peace is beautiful.

Sunflowers have become the symbol of a world free of nuclear
weapons. After Ukraine gave up its last nuclear warhead, the Defense
Ministers of the US, Russia and Ukraine met on a former Ukrainian missile
base, June 4, 1996. They celebrated by scattering sunflower seeds and
planting sunflowers. Former US Secretary of Defense William Perry said,
Sunflowers instead of missiles in the soil will ensure peace for future
generations.

Reprinted with permission from The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Waging Peace Newsletter, Vol. 12. No. 1, Winter 2002.
Go to www.wagingpeace.org for more information

________________________________________________________
The 2001-2010 International Decade of Peace and Nonviolence began with this appeal by twenty Nobel Laureates.

Appeal by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates

To the Heads of State of all Member
Countries of the United Nations
FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD

Today, in every single country throughout the world, there are many children silently suffering the effects and consequences of violence.

This violence takes many forms: between children on the streets, at school, in family life and in the community. There is physical violence, psychological violence, socioeconomic violence, environmental violence and political violence. Many children - too many children - live in a “culture of violence.”

We wish to contribute to reduce their suffering. We believe that each child can discover, by her/himself, that violence is not inevitable. We can offer hope, not only to the children of the world, but to all of humanity, by beginning to create, and build, a new Culture of Nonviolence.

For this reason, we address this solemn appeal to all Heads of State, of all member countries of the General Assembly of the United Nations, for the UN General Assembly to declare:

That the first decade of the new millennium, the years 2001-2010, be declared the “Decade for a Culture of Nonviolence”.

That nonviolence be taught at every level in our societies during this decade, to make the children of the world aware of the real, practical meaning and benefits of nonviolence in their daily lives, in order to reduce the violence, and consequent suffering, perpetuated against them and humanity in general.

Together we can build a new culture of nonviolence for humankind, which will give hope to all humanity, and in particular, to the children of our world.
With deepest respect,
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates


The United Nations responded to the Nobel Appeal and passed resolution A/RES/53/243 that invites us:

To foster a culture of peace through education

To promote sustainable economic and social development

To promote respect for all human rights

To ensure equality between women and men

To foster democratic participation

To advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity

To support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge

To promote international peace and security

As communities of conscience across the globe respond to the Nobel Laureates Appeal, we can end the traumatic experiences of children that blight their lives, rob them of hope, deprive them of joy, and extinguish their dreams. Children will learn that peace is possible.

Over 75 million citizens have added their commitment to the Nobel Laureates personal pledge to:

Respect Life
Reject Violence
Share With Others
Listen To Understand
Preserve the Planet
Contribute to our Communities

You may personally sign the Nobel Laureates appeal at www.nobelweb.org. You may find more information about the global campaign at www.unesco.org/cp.

It may be said that, as we enter a new century, the ‘second literacy’ of ‘learning to live together’ has become as important as the first literacy of Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic…Perhaps the fourth “R” is RECONCILIATION.

_____________________________________________________________________________
TAKING ACTION

Parents and Teachers, please share the following keys with your children and do whatever you can to bring them to life --
Ten Keys to Creating More Peace in Your Life and Beyond:

1. Make a commitment to being kind over all else.

2. When you are angry, put yourself in the shoes of the other person instead of only focusing on your own reactions.

3. Breathe first, then speak. Use I messages to communicate when something makes you mad.

4. Find a way to help someone else every day.

5. Make thanking people a part of your life.

6. Do the right thing, even when no one is looking.

7. Stand up for people who are excluded, put-down, or marginalized.

8. Always remember that words have power; a kind word can enrich a life, a hurtful word can diminish it.

9. Hang these words in your home: I am the key to peace.

10. Now go out and live them.
_______________________________________________________________
Naomi Drew is the author of four 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)
Hope and Healing: Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World will be released in September of 2002 (Kensington Publishers)

If your organization or school would like to schedule a workshop or speaking engagement, you can reach Naomi at win47win@aol.com.



Peaceful Parenting is a free bi-weekly service. Please share this newsletter.
Website: Learningpeace.com


Copyright Naomi Drew, August, 2001 All Rights Reserved.
This content may be forwarded in full, with copyright/contact/creation information intact,without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from the author is required.

Love and Peace to All of You.


_______________________________________________________________
Naomi Drew is the author of four 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)
Hope and Healing: Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World will be released in September of 2002 (Kensington Publishers)

If your organization or school would like to schedule a workshop or speaking engagement, you can reach Naomi at win47win@aol.com.



Peaceful Parenting is a free bi-weekly service. Please share this newsletter.
Website: Learningpeace.com


Copyright Naomi Drew, August, 2001 All Rights Reserved.
This content may be forwarded in full, with copyright/contact/creation information intact,without specific permission, when used only in a not-for-profit format. If any other use is desired, permission in writing from the author is required.

Love and Peace to All of You.


 

Copyright © 2002 by Naomi Drew. All rights reserved. Site Map