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Kamala Sarup: Culture of Non-violence for Children

Culture of Non-violence for the Children

By Kamala Sarup

The declaration of the UN of an International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001 2010) is being addressed in the various countries, step by step.

There are vast areas, often remote and beyond government control in the world. There are many lawless areas where the biggest gun and hardest nerve prevails over any reason. There are children who are largely agricultural or rural, eking out a living, dirt poor, and have no cooperating with any authority. The "government" "Peace or human rights organizations"in these places usually means nothing but trouble, collecting data, preparing reports only.

Publishing peace on the data or in seminars does not really solve the problem. It may sound good and look fine on paperwork reports, but it only delays solving the problem, and can even compound the problem if the children are pushed onto fertile ground for trouble-making, fundraising or recruiting.

Rich and Powerful country need to be constantly re-acquainted with the reality of the common children's peace agenda. If children are insulated or kept in the dark about how life really is, we get moments like bad leaders having no idea about the price of peace and terrorism.

After World War Two, the rich and the powerful countries made many social compacts to share knowledge and transfer wealth among themselves and their society. The great peace programs and non-violence had their origins during these two time periods mostly.

What is conspicuously lacking today are several things: the ability to construct a civil society that treats all its members and children as human beings, including the "less fortunate", a sense of social responsibility among the newly minted rich and powerful, and a vision for the next twenty years or so globally that is humane and just for all children and the people.

In the past, it has fallen on several groups of people to deliver the message of both social reality. We must remember societies are made up of three classes at a minimum if they are successful.

Everyone seems to be so eager to stuff their pockets and abscond with as much loot as they can, that they fail to see that this type of behavior left untrammeled always (not often, but always) leads to things like Global terrorism, war and violence. Today's Global Terrorism is only the most obvious recent manifestation of this.

Unless the rich and powerful countries around the world grow up and sober up quickly, they are leading us all down the garden path to a very nasty, brutish time.

So what does all this wind age have to do with a a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children?

It is very true that the human societies used to practice a lot more violence against children. Why is that? One word: economics. It was deeply rooted in the practical.

So how long that ultra-patriarchal societies of the present are going to last along with their almost automatically condoned violence against children? Twenty years? Thirty years?

Maybe it's rose-tinted spectacles, but a lot of change around the world in unexpected places and in organic ways of progression.

Perhaps there is a way to get these officials to cooperate with the international fight for the peace and solve their own local problems as well.

This might entail several such areas spread out over South and Southeast Asia in three or four countries. It would mean a lot of work in a peace and cultural education and cooperation. Nonviolence for a children can be powerful and successful, If the will and means is found in such regional groupings as SAARC and ASEAN, and a viable strategy and funding made available from the West, the idea may both take advantage of normal human behavior as well as actually help solve the problem.

The promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, means where children learn to live together in peace and harmony which will contribute to the strengthening of international peace and cooperation. It is a time for reflection on culture of peace for the children, that reject violence to solve problems. It is true, building a Culture of Peace for the Children of the World brings together the ideas of hundreds of people. Since the Culture of Peace program focuses on making and keeping peace, it must begin at the grassroots level through education programs.

The vast majority of politicians and officials in the world have little or no knowledge of the Culture of Peace and Non-violence Programs. People, nations, must in effect truly give the culture of peace a chance, recognising that it is vital for a sustainable future for the children.

A culture of peace features competition among peace activists. Some poor nations like Nepal with insufficient money, motivation, and luck will "go broke". Inevitably, a continuum of peace among persons and families ranging from the poorest to the richest, however defined, will be the result. Thus, in a culture of peace creates greater hope, among its children.

Various peace activism experiments were conducted throughout history to equalize peace culture by groups ranging from small religious bodies to large nations, but all were unsuccessful to raise general culture of peace. However, nations all failed to produce sustained peace, justice for most of their children, and the causes of their failures can be summarized as follows: Acquisitive people with ability and motivation resent sharing equally with those with less ability and motivation, so the former either stopped making much effort or moved elsewhere.

A Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children model is the only model that ever shown sustained, if uneven, improvement in peace living for most of its children and people. However, in a culture of peace, those who have must deal somehow with those who have not this culture.

The International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World was originally the idea of Pierre Marchand and the Nobel Peace Laureates, linked at first to the project for the an International Year of Education for Nonviolence.

Violence against children will decline and cease to be a major problem when children learn to exercise skillfully all the powers they naturally possess in advanced societies.


Kamala Sarup is an editor of

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