FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

A Peace Proposal, Bring in the Children

We receive many positive proposals for peace from friends and readers of the Sunflower and our wagingpeace.org web site. I want to share some of them from time to time with a broader audience in the hope that they may spark your ideas and actions. Here is one from Janie, a mother in Philadelphia. She begins by observing that “the world seems to be falling apart” and notes that the format of international meetings hardly changes and the results are generally minimal. “What are we to do?” she asks.

She answers her question this way: “When things don’t work out with a child, a new tactic is in order, and various tactics are attempted until the right one surfaces and the final breakthrough is accomplished.” Based on her experience, she makes the following proposal:

“Why doesn’t someone initiate at the next world conference for anything (nuclear disarmament, environment, peace in the Middle East, etc.) that each representative brings to the meeting a grandchild (under the age of about 7 years) and if no grandchild fits this category then a grandniece/nephew or any child that one is extremely fond of?”

“I think the results would be alarming, surprising,” she writes. “Representatives to these meetings come with their egos, agendas, power, etc. No wonder nothing much is achieved. Get some children in there and what will happen right off the bat is that no one’s heart remains with quite the same hardness and impenetrability. The egos become a little less, the feeling of nationalism decreases a notch. My religion, your religion doesn’t quite hold the power it had. Why? Because the hearts of children have the power, tremendous power to melt the heart, anyone’s heart.”

She concludes: “So that’s my contribution to conflict resolution, the peace process, disarmament put the future generations before these people, put their very own loved ones, vulnerable ones, sweet and innocent ones in their face and maybe things could get moving to secure a world that they deserve. I am so very serious about this. Is it not worth a try?”

Of course, it is worth a try. We need leaders who think and act as if they are in the very presence of future generations. We need leaders who are able to shift their thinking and actions from representing powerful corporate interests to representing people and particularly the children who, after all, are the future. We need leaders who, like the native Americans, think of the seventh generation in the future when they make decisions.

The problem, of course, is how to get a great idea like Janie’s implemented. It seems clear that it would change the tone and tenor of international meetings concerned with peace, disarmament, human rights, the environment, etc. It is difficult to move entrenched leaders, particularly those that seem indebted to vested interests. Perhaps the best way to implement an idea like this is for the children themselves to make their voices heard and to demand a seat at the table.

I encourage you to talk this idea over with friends and family, including your children and grandchildren. Perhaps we should withhold our votes from leaders who do not make decisions as if in the presence of future generations and who would not be willing to bring children into the halls of government and to international meetings to determine whether it is possible to live in peace with our planet and each other.

David Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He can be contacted at dkrieger@napf.org.

 

More articles by:

David Krieger is President of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (www.wagingpeace.org). 

September 25, 2018
Kenneth Surin
Fact-Finding Labour’s “Anti-Semitism” Crisis
Charles Pierson
Destroying Yemen as Humanely as Possible
James Rothenberg
Why Not Socialism?
Patrick Cockburn
How Putin Came Out on Top in Syria
John Grant
“Awesome Uncontrollable Male Passion” Meets Its Match
Guy Horton
Burma: Complicity With Evil?
Steve Stallone
Jujitsu Comms
William Blum
Bombing Libya: the Origins of Europe’s Immigration Crisis
John Feffer
There’s a New Crash Coming
Martha Pskowski
“The Emergency Isn’t Over”: the Homeless Commemorate a Year Since the Mexico City Earthquake
Fred Baumgarten
Ten Ways of Looking at Civility
Dean Baker
The Great Financial Crisis: Bernanke and the Bubble
Binoy Kampmark
Parasitic and Irrelevant: The University Vice Chancellor
September 24, 2018
Jonathan Cook
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why We Cannot See the System Destroying Us
Gary Leupp
All the Good News (Ignored by the Trump-Obsessed Media)
Robert Fisk
I Don’t See How a Palestinian State Can Ever Happen
Barry Brown
Pot as Political Speech
Lara Merling
Puerto Rico’s Colonial Legacy and Its Continuing Economic Troubles
Patrick Cockburn
Iraq’s Prime Ministers Come and Go, But the Stalemate Remains
William Blum
The New Iraq WMD: Russian Interference in US Elections
Julian Vigo
The UK’s Snoopers’ Charter Has Been Dealt a Serious Blow
Joseph Matten
Why Did Global Economic Performance Deteriorate in the 1970s?
Zhivko Illeieff
The Millennial Label: Distinguishing Facts from Fiction
Thomas Hon Wing Polin – Gerry Brown
Xinjiang : The New Great Game
Binoy Kampmark
Casting Kavanaugh: The Trump Supreme Court Drama
Max Wilbert
Blue Angels: the Naked Face of Empire
Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will There Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail