“Education is the best weapon for peace.”
– Maria Montessori
As we continue to hear more about the shootings in Orlando and other acts of violence in our world, we question how this is possible and why it happened. We also struggle with how to talk to children about such atrocities. Many parents work hard to shield their children from these violent events. Sometimes, despite the best intentions, they learn about them anyway. This week I was reminded of the quote from Fred Rogers, of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.
This shifts the focus from the aggressor or attacker to the fact that people are helpers. We want to help. We want to do something meaningful to contribute to those who are suffering. We yearn for peace. A strong tenet of Montessori education is the peace curriculum. It must be taught each day if children are to grow into adults who promote peace and continue to care for our world and each other.