Breaking the ideal, overarching concept of peace into manageable bites and methods of actualization.
The key questions for this pillar are:
- How are we comprehending the various ways in which one can view and create “peace?”
- How are we exploring peace through methods of actualization?
Talking about peace in the abstract, albeit a useful exercise, can provide too broad a conception of what peace actually entails. It can also make it difficult for the learner to see clear ways in which their actions and their personal life can build peace. Too often peace is understood as that (over there) vs. this (right here). In other words, exploring approaches to peace through various disciplines and localizing and personalizing peace efforts can shift our appreciation for peace from the abstract to the concrete.
The video below profiles a student’s social and environmental justice initiative that was supported, in part, by the Close Up Foundation, America’s largest civics education and engagement organization. It is examples such as this that put conceptions of peace and social justice into action.
Another great example of shifting peace and “doing good” from the abstract to the concrete is the 30 Days of Good Series from the website and magazine Good.is. This series provides a “Good” theme for each month. A challenge (task or exercise) is then assigned for each day of that month that fits that theme. Previous themes have included: making your own meals, citizenship, going back to school, financial fitness, and Do It Yourself.
Reflection Question: Browse the last few months of the 30 Days of Good series. What theme or challenge appeals to you in terms of bringing in or practicing more good in your life?