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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Peace Day Celebration: September 21, 2017


The following is the text of a brief address that I gave at the annual Peace Day Celebration at the Golden campus of Compass Montessori School on September 21, 2017:

"Good morning!

"Welcome everyone to our ceremony in honor of the International Day of Peace.

"Today, alongside thousands of Montessori schools, and tens of thousands of citizens in the United States and around the world, we pause to celebrate the local, national, and global efforts to create a more peaceful world - and to contemplate what more we can do.

"Please join me in acknowledging our incredible school community: our Children’s House, and our Elementary program; our Farm School, and our High School; our amazing staff; and parents, guardians, and guests who have joined us in solidarity and celebration.

"Our gathering today has extra special meaning, for amongst many skills - including being a physician, anthropologist, educator, and child advocate - Maria Montessori was a peace activist. She saw in the child the hope for a better tomorrow. It was her vision that, through her schools, curricula, and mindset of the adults who worked there, that a more peaceful and just world could be brought into being.

"For her selfless commitment to the world’s children and for serving impacted communities on nearly every continent, Montessori was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times - in 1949, 1950, and 1951 - but never won.

"As members of the Compass Montessori School community, we are the heirs of Montessori’s vision, the recipients, and beneficiaries of her legacy. Our job is to continue her call to action, to carry the torch forward.

"Last year we dedicated a Peace Pole to our community on this day. It says 'May Peace Prevail on Earth' in four languages - Chinese, Spanish, English, and Hindi - the four most commonly spoken languages in the world. What does it mean? And, why have it written in four languages? It means that Peace is Possible everywhere: in every nation, every state, every city, every town, every neighborhood, every school, every family, and every person. It doesn’t matter where you live, what language you speak, what clothes you wear, or what color your skin is: Peace is Possible.

"Peace is Possible when each one of us decides to be peaceful. When we help one another, encourage one another, respect one another - Peace is Possible. When we let others know how we feel and what we need - Peace is Possible. When we let others tell us how they feel and what they need - Peace is Possible. Every time we work together to make things better for us all - Peace is Possible.

"What are you going to do today that will make a difference? How will today be different from yesterday, and tomorrow different from today?

"Peace takes practice, and work; it is a continuous process, one that requires thoughtful dedication, an unflappable determination, and the willingness to do even more.

"As we conclude our celebration today, I suggest that we commit to ourselves and to each other what our role is now - and what it will be in the days to come - towards building a more peaceful world.

"Please repeat after me:

I am…
...the future;
I can…
...make a difference;
We are…
…stronger together.
We can…
… build a more peaceful world.

"Thank you!"

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