motivating and facilitating students’ capacities for self-inquiry and reflection is intended
to spark the internal and dialectical conversations that enrich deeper thought processes.
Further, the fostering of interpersonal, human connections such as these promotes a spirit
of cooperation (as opposed to conflict and competition), thereby supporting a
humanitarian environment so necessary for educating for peace.
From exploring and sharing our interpreted meanings of peace as a group, I would
ask students to focus on the current state of peace in their inner lives. Does the student
feel at odds with herself more often than not? Does she like the kind of person she
perceives herself to be? Does she require external approval from others to feel
worthwhile? We would further explore the meanings of self-worth, purpose,
empowerment, choice, action, and responsibility as these terms inform a way of
conducting oneself in the interest of personal and social well-being. We would talk about
the actual work of peacemaking from within: taking responsibility for our thoughts,
feelings, choices, and actions. We would acknowledge the imperfectability of the inner
work of peacemaking, while also validating the process as positive and “good” for all
human beings. Additionally, we would discuss the philosophical meaning of “becoming”
as a hopeful project of human development; that we are capable of learning, changing,
and growing at various stages of our lives; that we can choose and alter our projects of
living as they speak to our passions, purposes, and desires for peaceful co-existence in the
world.
Conclusion: Self-Worth and the Ethics of Peace and Love
Hedges and hooks both speak of love as the antidote to violence, as the alternative
to the death of the soul as well as the death of the body. In his book, War is a Force that
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