18 August, 2016
Of the 7.4 billion souls who occupy our global village which we know as Planet Earth, 2.2 billion of these souls are children – Our Sons and Daughters – the “Next Generation of Leaders, Husbands, Fathers, Wives, and Mothers”. Each of these 2.2. billion souls emerge from the womb emotionally, psychologically and spiritually whole. The Millennium has produced a group of children who are the most intellectually mature, creative, and keenly intuitive souls our global village has encountered. Violence – physical and psychological, poverty, hunger, lack of access to adequate physical and mental health resources and support services, Fatherlessness, ethnic and religious intolerance, mass incarceration, an unlevel educational playing field, and illiteracy traumatizes these souls as they make their journey from childhood to adulthood. These 2.2 billion souls cry out every day to the Adults of the World as they make their journey from childhood to adulthood in a very turbulent and violent environment.
Stop. Listen. Do you hear the plaintive voices of 2.2 billion souls calling out in unison to the Adults of the World?
The voices of 2.2 billion souls cry out in unison: “Teach us peace!”
Through no fault of their own, these souls find themselves caught up in bloody and deadly conflicts between nations or violent internal strife between rival political factions or tribes within their nation. Some of these 2.2 billion souls witness domestic violence in their households or violent confrontations between gang members over imaginary territorial boundaries or mass shootings perpetrated by a lone gunman or petty arguments which escalate into a deadly stabbing or deadly shooting or unarmed or surrendering civilians shot and killed by police officers or police officers shot and killed by civilians. The violence that Our Sons and Daughters witness day after day is punctuated by the violent content of video games, social media, and popular music videos to which they have access and exacerbated by the fact that we live in a world in which the threat of deadly terrorism hangs over their heads like the “Sword of Damocles”.
What is equally frightening is the fact that our children – the world’s 2.2. billion souls -- model behavior. They pay more attention to what the Adults of the World do and less attention to what the Adults of the world say to them. When you think these souls are asleep, inattentive, or preoccupied, they are watching every move that the Adults of the World make. The Adults of the World say that we want our children – these 2.2 billion souls -- to grow up in a world that is far better than the world we knew as we made our journey from childhood to adulthood. But what are we doing to make that happen? If acts of violence – physical or psychological – play out in the lives of these 2.2 billion souls, what are the chances – without positive intervention – that these souls will not come to believe and think that violence – physical or psychological is normal and acceptable form of behavior.
Our children – our global village’s 2.2 billion souls – emerge from the womb as “whole souls” – souls endowed with a gentle spirit, high intellect, unbridled curiosity and enthusiasm, and unconditional love. Exposing these 2.2 billion souls to a steady diet of violence – be it physical or psychological – causes them to become psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally unbalanced. The psychological, spiritual, and emotional imbalance of 2.2 billion souls plays itself out every day. And we are all witnesses to the manner in which this imbalance plays itself out. It is creating havoc in our neighborhoods, our cities, and in nations throughout our global village. Is that we want? Do we really want psychologically, spiritually, and emotionally unbalanced 2.2 souls in our midst who will likely mature into spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically unbalanced adults who will become the global village’s “Next Generation of Leaders, Husbands, Fathers, Wives, and Mothers”?
Our Sons and Daughters have a message for us: “Teach us peace! Help us rise above the chaos and violence that we see day after day.”
How do the Adults of the World move 2.2. billion souls to rise above the chaos and violence that they are confronted with every day whether it be through social media, video games, popular music videos, in their homes, or on the streets of our neighborhoods? How do we teach peace to these beautiful 2.2 billion souls who are our future – our bridge to the future?
The International Men’s Day “Teach Peace” Children’s Literacy Initiative was recently launched to help 2.2 billion beautiful souls rise above chaos and violence. This initiative is a cathartic forum for these beautiful souls. It gives them a voice through the written word – essays and poems which they create – to express to the Adults of the World how the turbulent and violent world they live impacts them --- spiritually, psychologically, and emotionally. The Initiative also gives voice to their vision of how we can all live peacefully on this space and place we know as Planet Earth. And the International Men’s Day Team will ensure that the Adults of the World see and hear the plaintive voices of 2.2 billion souls crying out: “Teach us peace!” Each essay and poem we receive will be published in IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®’s Children’s Corner and on the Children’s Corner blog at http://buildingabridgetothefuture.blogspot.com. Essays can be sent via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: Children's Corner, c/o IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD(R), Post Office Box 3885, Philadelphia PA 19146-0185.
Let’s teach our children peace!
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