Gives Us Meaning, Hedges (2003) explores the dialectical contrast between “the eros
instinct” (p. 158) of love and care versus the “Thanatos, or death instinct” (p. 158),
referencing Freud’s work in this area. hooks references Cornel West in her discussion of
a love ethic, the knowing and feeling of love that heals one’s inner wounds through a
conscious embrace of self-love, expanding toward others through connections of care and
peaceful intentions. “‘Any disease of the soul must be conquered by a turning of one’s
soul. This turning is done through one’s own affirmation of one’s worth an affirmation
fueled by the concern of others’” (Cornel West, in hooks, 2000, p. 94). The words of
these particular philosophers emphasize the connectedness that an ethic of love inspires
love of self and others as being fundamental to a philosophical understanding of peace
that underlies all human relationships, an understanding that harbors deep implications
(far more deep than understanding peace as the opposite of war) for the future of the
human condition. Once again, I invoke my philosophical grounding as I have
contemplated the question that titles this paper, “What Does It Mean to Educate for
Peace?”
In this essay, I have presented a conception of teaching for peace that resonates
with my view that an individually experienced, existential understanding of peace
provides the necessary foundation for understanding peace as a universal ideal and goal
for all humanity. I have spoken of the individual’s inner peacemaking processes,
suggesting that a general, yet always vulnerable, knowing of inner peace is grounded in
the individual’s acceptance of herself as a uniquely valuable human being, conscious to
her self-worth and responsible for her own identity creation as an independent thinker.
Finally, I have advocated that instructional strategies for peace education, as a
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