Some Seeds of Peace Sown
‘Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed’ (from the Preamble to the UNESCO Constitution)
This belief lay behind the Kingston Peace Council event organised in
Tony Kempster, from the Movement for the Abolition of War, emphasised the importance of using music, striking images and drama when putting a message across to young people. He suggested three ideas that peace educators should not lose sight of:
1. ‘Truth’ is complex – not black and white
2. The past does not prescribe the future. For example we do not have to accept war as a fact of human existence any more than we accept slavery.
3. Positive action by individuals is valuable and can contribute to making the world a better place.
Tony warned of the danger of ‘cultural pessimism’ - specially for young people. He thought young people often saw the world as a fraught and insecure place and the future as uncertain. He said ‘We owe it to young people to set out the optimistic alternative, including the vision of an end to military conflict. A world without optimism is a truly dangerous place.’
Councillor Bart Ricketts
(Deputy Mayor of
Not only did we have some inspirational talks but some of the
speakers stayed on and helped with our discussion. We were delighted too that
Kingston MP, Ed Davey, came to open the event and was
very supportive of peace education and offered help in the future. Susan
Kramer, the MP for
One of the ideas that came from the afternoon discussion was that we
should aim to contact all schools in the boroughs of
The next step for us at KPC is to get some of the material generated
by the ‘Sowing Seeds of Peace’ day written up and sent out to schools in
Quite a lot of people have commented that they felt the day was worthwhile. I certainly left feeling optimistic because everyone at the event seemed so positive. We are extremely grateful to the Hearsum Family, who run Pembroke Lodge, for very generously allowing us to use, free of charge, the beautiful rooms dedicated to Bertrand Russell - a great campaigner for peace. Of course though there were expenses and it was the hard work of KPC members throughout the year raising money at stalls that enabled us to meet additional costs.