Curriculum Of Hope For A Peaceful World
On February 14, 2018, Valentine’s Day, when everyone was supposed to be focused on sharing their love, 17 precious beloved family members were murdered in a school in the United States of America. That tragedy was one of several mass shootings in the US in the first 45 days of 2018. Unbelievable… mind boggling… beyond depressing… frightening… heart breaking… as all senseless shootings are. But this time, due to the outrage, anger, courage and firm conviction of the young survivors, coupled with their commitment to civic responsibility, we are all witnesses to and participants in life changing events that will become an important part of American history.
On March 24, 2018, in 832 places across the United States and other countries, millions of ordinary people gathered to March for Our Lives and to call for immediate change toward a more just and peaceful world. I personally have developed enormous pride in the character and passion of young survivors and family members who have lost children to gun violence. At the same time I have been consumed with trying to understand why there is so much hatred in the hearts of so many Americans. Statistics from the National Institute of Justice show hundreds of thousands of gun violence victims each year. U.S. history reminds me that the United States is like no other country, in that it is a grand experiment in the melding of a diverse population of immigrants from every continent coming here in search of freedom and a better life. In 1774, 13 colonies came together in the Continental Congress to protest new taxation by the Crown. In 1776 the 2nd Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence basically founding the United States, and eventually ratifying a Constitution in 1787, on the principles of justice, liberty, and domestic tranquility. Imagine the passion, courage, activism and determination required to establish a new country!
Since that time, whenever there has been true progress made to improve the status of citizens and protect their rights, it was accomplished through legislation often demanded by the activism of ordinary citizens, united and passionate about their cause and only after great turmoil and peaceful revolt. Two major examples: Women’s Right to Vote (19th Amendment) in 1920 and the Civil Rights Act in 1964. History shows that same pattern in other democratic countries when governments often are only moved to social justice action by citizen revolt and persistent demand. It seems that Utopia is difficult to achieve. The novel Utopia by Sir Thomas More published in 1516 tells of a place of ideal perfection, the seat of perfect social and political life, defined in dictionaries and even in the novel as “visionary and impractical.” Even so, it must be pursued. Will you join me as a visionary wherever you live in the world?
STEP ONE: Maintain a peaceful mindset by focusing on your own inner peace. You were born with it, bring it forth!
STEP TWO: Focus on the many positive events currently occurring. Recall the 2018 Olympics gathering in South Korea where over 3,000 athletes from across the globe competed, won or lost yet, over 17 days mostly supported and cared for each other. Equally encouraging are the huge peaceful protest marches across the world on March 24th.
STEP THREE: Believe in the personal power of each and every single voice, which when united with many others, is compelling.
STEP FOUR: Choose a cause you are passionate about, committed to, and one you want to help accomplish. Make a contact and get involved.
STEP FIVE: Choose a mantra from visionaries of the past, post it in a prominent place to remind you of your mission. There are hundreds of poems, song lyrics, and quotes we all know well. You will find a few in this issue or make up one of your own.
STEP SIX: Be courageous. Be determined. Be an activist to help heal our broken world. STEP UP AND JUST DO IT! Together, we can persist and influence and guide the future toward peace. Your involvement is crucial. Be the peacemaker you were born to be.
Jeanne Morascini is the founder of A Curriculum of Hope For a Peaceful World quarterly newsletter, published since 1986. firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://www.alphaalphapa.