You cannot shake hands with a closed fist. — Indira Ghandi
Love is not a doctrine. Peace is not an international agreement. Love and Peace are beings who live as possibilities in us. — Mary Caroline Richards, poet, potter, and philosopher
IN TODAY'S SESSION... we explored peacemaking, and how each of us can find creative solutions to solve conflict and work cooperatively. We heard the true story of The Christmas Truce, in which, during World War I, soldiers from both sides crossed into the No Man's Land between enemy lines to share Christmas gifts and songs in the spirit of shared humanity. We held a different kind of race, in which increasing numbers of people were tied together, and we created skits in which we had to come up with various solutions to a conflict.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. How do you experience conflict in your family? How do you make peace? When arguments or fights arise between participants or between participants and adults, how do you work toward a solution? What sorts of things happen when your family is at peace?
A Family Ritual. In both Jewish and Muslim traditions it is customary to greet people or say good-bye using a word which means "peace." Shalom is the Hebrew form of the word, while salaam is the Arabic form. You can remind your family and others whom you greet of your desire for peace by creating the ritual of welcoming and/or taking leave of people with the greeting "Shalom" or "Salaam."
A Family Game. During this session the participants played a game in which we ran a series of races. We began by running the race individually, but the next time we did it as a three-legged race, with two people running as a team tied together. Then we kept going, tying together increasing numbers of people, until we ran one final "human race." You can play this game with your family—but beware, size differences add to the challenge!