Posts Tagged ‘childhood’

This month’s post is about leading children towards peace.

As you may remember, I struggled a little last time the challenge was about teaching children but in the end I came to the conclusion that experiencing feelings of peace is a way to learn peace.

Eleven months on, although I agree with my earlier conclusion, the way I think about peace has changed – my personal understanding of peace has changed. What affects it, how I can create, share, support it, and what ‘it’ is. Definitions in the dictionary really don’t cover it any more.

Along the way I’ve read many other B4Peace blog posts.  I’ve read about the hurt and anguish people have experienced and about the joys that bring warmth to their lives.  I don’t often comment on them because I don’t feel I have anything to add, but those posts have added something to me.

They show me how much of peace is about learning to overcome the past.

They often highlight how far people have travelled on their own journey to peace, and how others have helped them along the way: mentors, teachers, guides and loved ones.  Everyone who thinks about peace has taken a first step on that journey, and whatever age we start that journey, we all have much to learn.

In other words, it’s not just children we need to lead to peace.  It’s also those people, like myself, who have woken up to a different way of thinking.

In a very real sense, I am a peace child.

I joined the B4Peace collective in January 2013 completely unsure as to what it would be like, and I thought of peace in very defined terms and tried to keep it all contained within the confines of my writing – the reason I set up a blog in the first place.

By the end of the year I was starting to feel steady enough on my feet to take a few chances.  I was a peace toddler. I was taught, by all the fantastic posts I read, to really value the peace in my life, and to think more about how to widen its impact.

My education is ongoing; I still stumble, and I make tons of mistakes, of course – but I am learning.

And isn’t that what the child in every one of us does?

Be peaceful,



B4Peace Central

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I approached this month’s peace post with some trepidation.

The challenge for April was to write about teaching children peace. As usual, we could write about an experience, share a creative piece and so on.  But as I don’t have children and I don’t write literature or poetry for young readers, I thought it would be tricky to write anything relevant.

But then I had an epiphany: I’m already doing this!

Long-time readers will know that a few months ago I started a project recording childhood memories for autobiographical poetry.  Nothing I have done so far has been directly related to peace – it’s been the opposite really; the vitality, exuberance and energy of youth.

But I used the same techniques to think about this month’s challenge – reviewing places, pictures, memories and notes – and it didn’t take long for experiences of quiet and stillness to come to the forefront of my mind.  Although I may not have seen them in that way as a child, they encapsulate my understanding of what peace is.  For example, shelling peas with my aunt; walking the dog; sitting in the cool dining room at my grandparent’s house.  Watching my mum make mince pies on Christmas Eve.

I can’t guarantee that the reality was as peaceful as I think now, or if I’m just recalling a second or two of experience, but for the purposes of poetry it doesn’t matter.  And for the purposes of peace I’m not sure it does either: these islands of stillness may have been in a vast ocean of activity, but the fact is that I still remember them.

If you ever try autobiographical poetry, you’ll notice that once you select a topic, the more you think about it, write notes about it, the more you’ll remember.  Colours, heat, smells all become suddenly vivid.  With these memories, I started building up a multi-sensory picture of peaceful moments.

And something crystallised in my thoughts – something that I thought was important for this post.

My peaceful memories were not about gadgets, tv shows, special equipment.  They were not about spending lots of money or overseas holidays.  They were about quality time; having a single focus; learning, or appreciating, where things came from; being somewhere comfortable and familiar.

That’s not to say those other things aren’t fun, or useful, or full of special memories too – but that the things I remember about peace are the things I actually did; not that I watched on a tv or heard on a radio.

So maybe the key to teaching anyone peace is to help them experience it.

Happy writing,



B4Peace Central

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