Peace On Earth by Barbara Gruener
It’s Wish List Wednesday and I’m going to go all out and wish for peace. Peace on earth. Peace in my back yard. Peace of mind. I know, I know, it’s a lofty goal, but don’t worry, I have a plan. Here’s what I’m thinking are some of the essential ingredients that we’ll need as we make PEACE a reality. If only we could add these virtues to our Core Standards recipe somehow, we’d be cooking up a whole generation of Peace Makers!
P – A scoop of Purpose and Patience
E – A heap of Empathy and Enthusiasm
A – A dollop of Acceptance and Apology
C – A generous helping of Compassion and Charity
E – A dash of Encouragement and Energy
Patience and Purpose: As we teach children to navigate their way through life, we need to be intentional; to do things with purpose. Let’s not leave anything to chance. Help them figure out where they belong. Then teach them to be patient and give themselves (and others!) the gift of time.
Empathy and Enthusiasm: Help students learn to put themselves in each other’s shoes so that their empathy will grow. Look for elevating experiences to share with them. Foster enthusiasm in students by sharing their joy when they make good character choices.
Acceptance and Apology: Teach students to accept – celebrate and champion even! – one another’s differences and to apologize when they stray from the path of character choices to put us that much further down the road toward peace on earth.
Compassion and Charity: Show your students how to think with their hearts and they’ll find themselves in the service of others. Build that capacity for caring and compassion so that inner and outer peace naturally follows.
Encouragement and Energy: Encourage literally translates into empowering with courage. Help students find the courage to do the right thing; it will positively energize tomorrow’s leaders as they make footsteps worth following.
You may be wondering if I have a favorite teaching tool for this intangible concept, and the answer is an unequivocal YES! Check out the book entitled Shhh! by Jeanne Willis. In this treasure chunk full of onomatopoeic words, a little shrew has something important to share but the hustle and bustle of the world around him drowns out his voice and keeps him from being heard. He’s got a secret; wanna know what it is? If you don’t already have a copy on your shelf, put it on your Wish List. In the meantime, sing it with me: Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!