dealing with difficult times is not to pull out a gun or other weapon but rather to seek help and guidance and to use their humanity and creativity to work out another answer.
What I am not hearing much about is the importance of teaching people to think and act differently. We need to teach young people (and every age – it’s never too late) that they can and have to express how they feel. We need to teach people how to receive that information and how not to judge but to empathise and support. We need to help people learn how to adapt when things don’t go as planned, and we need to learn to be better cheerleaders for one another.
We need to teach people resiliency, as things will likely be challenging at some point but with ample coping skills we can not only survive but thrive. We need to figure out how to help people see a ray of light, a bit of hope, in what can often be perceived as a hopeless situation.
In essence, we need peace education. Everywhere. All the time. Peace education teaches people that not only are there non-violent ways to resolve conflict but that each one of us is responsible for doing so. It emphasises that we have to build our capacities for love, acceptance, and understanding if we want a better world. Laws and policies can help, but changing the way we think is imperative.
It’s hard, but also not that hard, and our future seriously depends on it.
This article has been excerpted from: ‘Beyond gun control’.
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