Childhood Lessons on World Peace

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”
~ Mother Teresa

There is real wisdom in how simply and clearly kids see the world.  For them, every moment is an opportunity, a chance to explore and question.

They learn right from wrong at an early age.  They know, for example, it’s bad to bomb or kill people, and that everyone in the world should have food to eat.

So how do we explain world conflict to our kids?  How do we tell them that grownups don’t necessarily follow the basic lessons we teach our kids, lessons such as:

Play nice.  Be fair.  Have fun.  Help others.  Don’t hurt people.  Don’t take something that isn’t yours.  Don’t boss people around or bully them.  Take turns.  Share.  Don’t exclude.  Tell the truth.

Whenever possible, resolve arguments by talking.  When there’s a dispute, cool down, then do your best to talk it through.  Yes, sometimes self defense may be necessary, but don’t put on an attack face from the get-go.

We’re all different, and that’s a good thing.  We each bring something unique to the world, offering our own strengths and perspectives.  And that makes the world such a rich, interesting place.

As much as we’re all different, we’re all the same.  Regardless of culture, colour, gender, age, religious or spiritual tradition (if any) or financial status, we all want the same key things: love, happiness and a sense of belonging.

No one is better than anyone else.  This may seem difficult (for adults) to remember when bombarded with reality TV and harsh news stories, but here it is: we’re all equal.  It doesn’t matter the physical attractiveness, celebrity or non-celebrity status, age, occupation, gender, financial status, culture or religion of the person.  We are all equally deserving of love and happiness.

And an important lesson kids teach us, if we choose to notice:

Each moment holds amazing potential.  Kids find joy in the smallest things, the everyday things right in front of them: the flight of a butterfly, travels of an ant across the ground, walking barefoot in the grass, or an ice cube melting in their hand.  The ability of children to find the extraordinary in the ordinary – an incredible gift, for as long as they are able to keep it – gives them appreciation for the world and the things and people within it.

Let’s learn from our kids and from what we teach them, and see the world through their beautiful, bright, clear eyes.  The more we do, the more peaceful this world will become.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn of Choosing the Better Life October 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm

What a beautiful (and timely!) post. Good reminders, good inspiration, and thanks for bringing me smiles from the simple joy of children! I also love your into pic and quote. Thanks, Christine, for another wonderful post.

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christineonthebrighterside October 26, 2012 at 11:26 am

Thanks so much, Dawn! And I love that pic of the boys too – such happiness and energy in it. 🙂

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Ida Mae West-Simone November 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Christine, you are so right. Kids are our greatest teachers. Our lives get so complicated as adults that we can so quickly lose sight of what is important. I love this post and will share it with my tween/teen kids who are at that pivotal stage where priorities start to shift. Thank you.

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christineonthebrighterside November 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Thank you so much, Ida Mae! It’s rare and wonderful when we stop and take a moment to see things through the eyes of young children, isn’t it? I find that’s when everything seems so clear.

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Kira Callahan November 13, 2012 at 7:44 am

A beautiful message – whether you’ve got kids or not! The more we can remember the kid inside of us, the more joy, beauty and love we’ll be and see in the world.
xo!

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christineonthebrighterside November 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Thanks Kira! Beautifully put, and I completely agree. And it’s amazing to watch kids experience each moment and SEE what’s around them, rather than push through their days on auto-pilot as we adults often do! Thanks for commenting.
xoxo

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