Wednesday, September 21, 2016

International Day of Peace 2016: "Building Blocks"

Here's the poem I wrote and read for the student-organized International Day of Peace gathering in Bridge Square on Wednesday, September 21. It's dedicated to the young people of our community, who have so much to teach us about making a more peaceful world.

Building Blocks

“Establishing a lasting peace is the work of education.”
--Maria Montessori


Last night I woke to thunder.
Safe under my roof, I lay awake
listening as it rolled eastward,
followed by the peacefulness of rain.
In the morning, children bloomed
in bright colors on the bus corners,
teachers in still classrooms waited
for the calm to shatter into life.
There in the bustle and the noise
were the beginnings of peace.
Elsewhere, bombs fall and scatter
fear, like shrapnel edging
closer to our hearts. If all we carry
from the rubble is our hate,
then this is what we build. We close
the borders of ourselves. But last night
I heard a young Assyrian woman,
whose father’s village had been bombed,
whose people had suffered
from centuries of genocide and war,
talk about Montessori school,
where she learned that we
must be the building blocks of peace.
Montessori had such a simple idea:
teach our children to make peace,
and let them show us how it’s done.

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