True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice. — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
IN TODAY'S SESSION... the participants began their exploration of the words "to dwell together in peace" in the Blake covenant by discovering how the concepts of civil disobedience and nonviolent protest link Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The heritage of seeking peace with nonviolent communication treasured by Unitarian Universalists comes to us through the words and examples of early Unitarians and Transcendentalists, including Thoreau. The children used the words of Thoreau, Gandhi, and King in impromptu speeches urging peaceful protest against contemporary injustices. The group played Tug of Friendship, a cooperative version of Tug of War.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... a time you have worked for social change using nonviolence. If you have participated in any peace vigils, protests, or social action projects that may be relevant, share these experiences with your child.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. As a family, participate in a peace rally, vigil, or peaceful protest with the aim of creating social change or raising awareness.
Family Discovery. Visit the King Center in Atlanta, Georgia where you can discover the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his work for social change through non-violence. The museum describes how Dr. King was inspired by the ideas of Gandhi and Thoreau.
A Family Game. Play Tug of Friendship, Musical Chairs Remix, and other non-competitive versions of competitive games. Find directions for this session's games in the Love Connects Us program on the UUA Tapestry of Faith website. Almost any game that promotes competing over cooperation can be adapted so everyone works together instead of against one another.
A Family Ritual. As part of a leaving ritual—for example, at bedtime or as family members go off in different directions—wish one another peace by saying "Go now in peace," "May you go in peace," or "Peace be with you as you go," to one another. "Shalom" means peace in Hebrew. "Salaam" means peace in Arabic, and "Shanti" is peace in Sanskrit. These words (or others meaningful to your own family's particular heritage) could be shared in a family parting ritual.