Saturday, February 24, 2018

Peace for Children –by Ms. Vidya Shankar, Founder & Chairperson Relief Foundation

What’s really ailing children today? Why are they defiant? Why aren’t they studying? Why aren’t they behaving? Why aren’t they doing the right things?

I have been talking to children as well. I have tried to find out from many of them what really happens in their mind. It was a difficult proposition for me to interpret it directly. Because the children were not able to give me the language of what really their need was. So with all what I said I started my reading and it all landed on one major domain. All the children were looking at peace. It surprised me because the adults too look for peace.

What is this “peace”? What do we do to get this peace?
People may say that we are living in a world where there is so much of chaos; we have our families; everything happens in and out and we have no time in our hands; we have to handle the children; we have to do the best thing for them; we have to earn for the family. So there are so many responsibilities we have to take on and there is very little time to sit and meditate if that is what peace means. So the idea of peace is so contorted. The idea that peace is an exercise to be done after our regular work is what people have in their mind.

What is another interpretation of peace?
When countries or states have conflicts and are fighting with each other, they conclude agreements and sign treatise to end the war and bring peace. According the above statement, Peace is absence of war. But that peace is a state of being is something that Dr.Maria Montessori defined.

Dr. Maria Montessori said human beings have the great ability of finding peace even amidst chaos. That is a spiritual transcending that we are capable of. But why aren’t we getting there? Why are we being sucked into so many problems that surround us? Shouldn’t we address those problems? Of course we should. How do we address those problems? How does that training come about? How do we look at a problem? How do we analyze it? How do we decide to do the right things that will not shake our inner peace? So inner peace being the mantra how do we touch that inner peace? We already have peace within us. How do we touch that?

The starting point of all this is a consciousness. A consciousness of what we are currently engaged in? What we currently think about? What are we doing? So these are the things that we need to contemplate on. The first group of people who would definitely make the world a better place would be children. So Dr. Montessori started her work with children. As age progressed, the early sowing of peace right from the very beginning gave them a longitudinal grasp of life towards adolescence, when it is supposed to be turbulent and when children are not in good terms with. They are looking at life differently; they are looking at identity. People think that they will be so much ill at ease and not at peace. But on the contrary when they followed a philosophy based education something that made sense to the inherent grand potential of the human being which always sort learning.

There are different philosophies that education adopts. But the point is to adopt a philosophy and look at the philosophy in the education that is being offered to the child. Where there is a philosophical base to education rather than standardized testing as the basis of education there is hope. Because there is a human side to it. There is a philosophical state of mind that looks at education.

There are inherent questions that children ask. Why should I study it? What does it mean to use what I’m studying now later on in life? But imagine a condition where they are seeking actively and also finding answers. The point is not to get adults to give them answers all the time. Look at the empowerment that will happen if the children are able to find those answers given an environment that allows exploration in a meaningful way. So this is what the need to start from very early stages of life.

Conscious parenting brings about a peace in the home environment so that the child rests on that peace. By default the child seeks peace and it is not by escaping or attacking rather it is in a state of being. This is something that adults need to ponder over. We all need to find ways and means in which we are able to touch our inner peace through a journey which needs to start very early. Our whole life is much more within our frame work of thinking and not having many factors that disturb it only when you are able to find your inner peace. 

Do you agree with the idea of peace? If yes why? If not, why?
Do you agree with what Dr. Montessori calls as inner peace? If yes why? If not, why?
What peace initiatives do you think we can take?
Are you interested to know more about Peace in Education?
We are interested to hear from you.

Peace for Children –by Ms. Vidya Shankar, Founder & Chairperson Relief Foundation

What’s really ailing children today? Why are they defiant? Why aren’t they studying? Why aren’t they behaving? Why aren’t they doing the ri...