In this era of global disharmony and conflict, what would happen if 500 children reached deep within their hearts and found peace? How different would our world be if those same children taught us what they discovered . . . and one by one, we decided to change the world?
The air was electric as we gathered five hundred 8-11 year olds to experience peace in a time that was far from peaceful. Imagine children with Down's Syndrome seated next to intellectually gifted children. Picture Hispanic, Oriental, Native American, Caucasian, and African American children sitting side-by-side. Visualize young people of Buddhist, Jewish, Muslin, Christian, and Islamic faiths assembled as an ethnic rainbow, a miniature UN, a microcosm of society. Their innocent faces, nervous energy and unbridled enthusiasm filling the room. A room that was once a noisy school cafeteria is transformed by candlelight and intention into a haven of peace and possibility.
As Pachel Bell Canon pervades the air I invite these children on an imaginary journey to find the perfect place of peace within themselves and within all children around the world. After a few nervous giggles most of the children easily relax. How beautiful they all looked as they connect deeply to their own personal source of tranquility and peace. Huge smiles spread across their beautiful little faces. Their shoulders, necks and foreheads appear to melt down into a blissful state of relaxation and peace enfolds their entire being.
After several minutes of serenity the peace work begins. A sense of wonder settled upon the room, a room filled with teachers, reporters and children, each knowing the powerful work that was about to unfold. As songs like Circle of Life and What a Wonderful World play one by one I read 12 thought provoking questions to stimulate the children’s thinking. Questions like What is peace? If kids ran the world how would it be different? What keeps you from feeling peaceful? How can our world leaders create peace?
Each question tapping into a wellspring of innocent wisdom. The children write at a feverish pace, you could see ideas percolating inside their little minds as they explore their innermost feelings about peace. I expected the children’s responses to be good but, what I saw was amazing.
These 7-11 year olds expressed such profound wisdom, deep emotions, and truly inspiring expressions of what our world could be. Upon reading their answers I laughed, cried and knew that these innocent reflections had the potential to inspire adults to begin creating peace in their own lives and in our world.
Just as Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.” A shift in thinking is imperative if we are ever to know peace on earth and these children elevated their vision of peace to whole new level.
As parents we have a profound opportunity to elevate our children’s consciousness, to begin meaningful dialogues and to show them the possibilities for the future. Begin today talking about our world and instilling in them that peace begins with them.
Just as the beautiful song by Jill Jackson Miller says, Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Peace does begin with me and you and every child who believes they can make a difference. May your children be a beckon of hope for you to rekindle your commitment for peace and may we all know peace on earth.
Debbie Milam is the author of The Secret to Raising a Happy, Successful Family. A syndicated parenting columnist for United Press International and therapist whose work has been featured in over 300 media outlets including The Miami Herald, Elle, Ladies Home Journal, PBS and The Hallmark Channel.
Visit her website for more products and resources to help you be a create a life of peace, joy, and success for you and your children. Sign-up for her newsletter at www.bestyoucanbe.org and receive your special report Creating Peace Within Yourself and Your Family.