Inspired by Gandhi’s vision of personal empowerment, in the pre-school classroom where I work with three to six year olds, we do not designate only one or two people to act as “peacekeeper” for a day. Instead, we discuss together how everyone is a peacekeeper at all times, and we work individually on our skills to become more effective at it day by day. To this extent, we are creating the microcosm of a truly democratic society. What does this look like outside of our school and in the “real” world? It begins with individuals becoming trained in the tools of nonviolent conflict de-escalation: mediation, restorative justice, compassionate communication and listening, empathy and other nonviolent skills necessary to work out our conflicts without relying on someone else to do it for us. The moment we give away our capacity to handle conflict creatively and constructively, we invite in power abuse and violence in those who take up the job for us. It is too precious a capacity, and too instrumental to true democracy, to give away.
What skills do you feel you need to work on in order to feel more confident in handling a conflict in your life? Find a resource today that is meant to help you strengthen that capacity nonviolently.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 email@example.com