Saturday, May 16, 2009
I don't watch TV. It has the same effect on me as drinking Kava. I particularly avoid TV News and newspapers. Why? I always found the news depressing but living in China helped me give up the habit completely. After spending 3 years with no English TV and no news, I was happily oblivious to terrorist attacks, pandemics and political controversies and I found my state of ignorance actually made no difference to my life at all. (perhaps more optimistic about the human race). I also just can't stomach the bias. As the song says "Don't believe the hype". I know I should watch a little, being an educator, but I have found that having an RSS reader on my iGoogle page allows me to get the news I am interested in sent to my desktop. I did see something on the RSS this week that got me thinking. Civilians in Sri Lanka and Pakistan caught up in the crossfire of war. It always seems to be women and children who get in the way of boys with their deadly toys. It reminds me of a cartoon I once saw where a kid asks his dad, "How do soldiers killing each other solve the world's problems?" As Mahatma Gandhi said "If we are going to bring about peace in the world, we have to begin with the children". For me that means it starts at home hopefully and teachers can do something about it in the classroom. So this week I have collected some links related to Peace Education which I hope you will make use of. I have included the usual, paper cranes and songs. I don't usually go for that kind of thing but I was impressed with Playing For Change and their version of Stand By Me and No More Trouble . My personal view is that singing about peace doesn't do that much except making you feel good. I am more interested in teaching about the root causes of war which is feel are lack of tolerance and an excess of bias, greed and racism. These are really hard values to challenge because most kids come to school with their parent's views firmly entrenched. But we can all do a bit to chip away at the wall that divides people and stop glorifying war.
Posted by Charlie O'Sullivan at 2:40 PM