in the Children
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
May 10, 2002
We receive many positive proposals for peace from
friends and readers of the Sunflower and our
wagingpeace.org web site. I want to share some of them
from time to time with a broader audience in the hope
that they may spark your ideas and actions. Here is one
from Janie, a mother in Philadelphia. She begins by
observing that "the world seems to be falling apart" and
notes that the format of international meetings hardly
changes and the results are generally minimal. "What are
we to do?" she asks.
She answers her question this way: "When things don't
work out with a child, a new tactic is in order, and
various tactics are attempted until the right one
surfaces and the final breakthrough is accomplished."
Based on her experience, she makes the following
"Why doesn't someone initiate at the next world
conference for anything (nuclear disarmament,
environment, peace in the Middle East, etc.) that each
representative brings to the meeting a grandchild (under
the age of about 7 years) and if no grandchild fits this
category then a grandniece/nephew or any child that one
is extremely fond of?"
"I think the results would be alarming, surprising,"
she writes. "Representatives to these meetings come with
their egos, agendas, power, etc. No wonder nothing much
is achieved. Get some children in there and what will
happen right off the bat is that no one's heart remains
with quite the same hardness and impenetrability. The
egos become a little less, the feeling of nationalism
decreases a notch. My religion, your religion doesn't
quite hold the power it had. Why? Because the hearts of
children have the power, tremendous power to melt the
heart, anyone's heart."
She concludes: "So that's my contribution to conflict
resolution, the peace process, disarmament put the future
generations before these people, put their very own loved
ones, vulnerable ones, sweet and innocent ones in their
face and maybe things could get moving to secure a world
that they deserve. I am so very serious about this. Is it
not worth a try?"
Of course, it is worth a try. We need leaders who
think and act as if they are in the very presence of
future generations. We need leaders who are able to shift
their thinking and actions from representing powerful
corporate interests to representing people and
particularly the children who, after all, are the future.
We need leaders who, like the native Americans, think of
the seventh generation in the future when they make
The problem, of course, is how to get a great idea
like Janie's implemented. It seems clear that it would
change the tone and tenor of international meetings
concerned with peace, disarmament, human rights, the
environment, etc. It is difficult to move entrenched
leaders, particularly those that seem indebted to vested
interests. Perhaps the best way to implement an idea like
this is for the children themselves to make their voices
heard and to demand a seat at the table.
I encourage you to talk this idea over with friends
and family, including your children and grandchildren.
Perhaps we should withhold our votes from leaders who do
not make decisions as if in the presence of future
generations and who would not be willing to bring
children into the halls of government and to
international meetings to determine whether it is
possible to live in peace with our planet and each
David Krieger is president of the Nuclear Age Peace
He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TFF & the author 2002
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