What Is Your Vision of Peace?

by Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical on September 30, 2010

My Vision of PeaceMy oldest son joined his school choir which really surprised me because he is a very shy kid and getting up in front of people to sing takes a lot of courage.  But he joined and has really been enjoying it.  On Monday night they had their first concert which was a fundraiser for a local Peace Park being developed by the Nobel Peace Laureate Project.  Here is what they are all about (from their website):

“The Nobel Peace Laureate Project is a grass roots organization in Eugene, Oregon, with the goals of inspiring future peacemakers by honoring American winners of the Nobel Peace Prize and increasing the knowledge Americans have of their own internationally recognized peacemakers.”

The kids were awesome and did such an incredible job of singing songs that they had only learned a few weeks ago.  During one portion of the performance some of the kids displayed postcards from children around the world (age 6-12) to Oprah that depicted what their vision of peace is.

“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.” – Mahatma Gandhi

It was a really moving moment to hear how these kids envisioned the world should be.  Kids are much smarter than we think or give them credit for and their innocence allows them to speak much more freely than adults ever do.  We have a lot to learn from our kids and we should seriously listen to them more.  Some of the “visions of peace” included:

My vision of peace is…

“…people listening to each other.”
“…everybody eats healthy food.”
“…kind people helping each other.”
“…when people understand each other.”
“…no more war in the world.”
“…people and nature in harmony.”
“…no more layoffs so everyone has enough money.”
“…that everyone will have a home.”

And my personal favorite:

“…free ice cream for everyone!”

If anyone thinks that kids around the world don’t know what issues we are facing today I direct them to the visions of peace above.  For me, listening to these visions of peace further cemented the value of our sabbatical for our own kids.  They are going to have the opportunity to experience another culture, learn a different language and communicate with people that are different from them.  I hope they discover on their own that despite our differences we are very much the same.  We all have the same needs, the same desires and the same dreams.  The world is our classroom, we just need to get out there and attend class and that is exactly what we intend to do.

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

What is your vision of peace? What can you do today to create that vision in the world?  Leave your thoughts and comments below. Let’s see if we can’t turn this into a great conversation on what we can do to further the message of peace throughout the world.

I leave you with my vision of peace…

My vision of peace is one where intolerance and social injustice are things of the past. Where clean water and medical treatment are human rights and everyone has food on their table. Where people have the ability to freely travel between countries, meet their world neighbors, share a meal and a story and celebrate life together.  And free ice cream for everyone!

Now it’s your turn.  What’s your vision of peace?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ivan September 30, 2010 at 8:15 pm

very awesome matt :)..this is why I love being around kids…my whole aim has been to gain my own wisdom and regain my childhood innocence…if we can all become more childlike the world will be a better place…my vision of peace is that everyone one day discovers the inner peace that has always been there inside them…just need to do a little digging…if everyone can live and act from that place naturally the outside world will change….
Ivan recently posted..How To Become a Leader- What Hitler Taught The World

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matt October 1, 2010 at 11:54 am

Ivan, I couldn’t agree more. Now that I have kids of my own and they have reached an age where they are starting to explore the world around them I have to admit that they have taught me a lot. And I don’t think they are things that I didn’t already know but things that have become lost over the years as we become assimilated into adult society. I love that you are striving to regain that childhood innocence. If we all could look at the world again with child-like eyes I can imagine a much better world. I love your vision of peace and it’s something I hope to discover during my sabbatical. Hope to see you somewhere on the road this next year. Be well my friend and thanks for your thoughts here.

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Mary R October 1, 2010 at 12:39 am

Dear Matt,
How inspiring! Okay, here goes… a world where differences are valued and accepted, and no fear of the foreign.

Oh, and everything you said too!
Mary R recently posted..Intangible Travel Souvenirs

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matt October 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Mary, I love it!! People tend to react out of fear of things that they don’t understand. But kids are often inquisitive, questioning and want to know more and learn more. We should all explore the world more, try new things and like you say here embrace differences and celebrate them. I love the journey you are on! I hope our paths will cross one day.

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