Compassionate Schools and Peace Pioneers
Compassionate Schools, in their approach to students and in the process of stimulating learning are fundamentally, Life-affirming. They are compassionate and respectful to themselves, to the students they serve, and also to the environment we all live in.
Peace Pioneers, who are students of Compassionate Schools, catalyze understanding, capacities, and relationships needed by younger practitioners committed to stepping forward and creating the change they want to see in the world. We envision Peace Pioneers as a global learning network supporting young leaders in Compassionate Schools in the age group of 15 -35 years. The Peace Pioneers will work for peace within themselves, peace with other people, and peace with the environment and all Earthlings. When you join the community of Peace Pioneers you explicitly commit to the principles below:
Peace is the underlying substratum of life. It is a contextual field of silence, awareness, and creative intelligence. It spontaneously orchestrates Life, moves towards plurality, diversity, interdependence, self-constitution, and self-organization – in short, towards the fulfillment of its own freedom.
Throughout time, humans have built and reproduced systems of production, types of society, and ways of organizing based on modes of thought and frames of mind, that negate Life.
While we are taught to work within such a system (and the system learns to work within us), both our intuition and our senses tell us that it is fundamentally flawed and that we can do something about it.
We can change the rules of the game to foster Peace.
Together we will, in an on-going process, develop the commitment, understanding, and a network of relationships to create or transform systems that they may come to serve Life, and operate in life-affirming ways.
Principles that Guide Peace Pioneers
Peace Pioneers operate from five core guiding principles:
1. Be yourself
It is up to each of us, as moral beings, to decide how to act and to freely form our contribution to the whole. We must think this reality through, and not hide from it. This means looking inside oneself and asking “What are the basic principles which help me decide what is good?”, being able to listen to one’s intuition, even when it contradicts the social structures around us. We are all a part of life, and we all have a unique contribution to make. What is that unique approach that I can bring forth?
2. Do what matters
The world needs us more than ever. It needs Peace Pioneers to be treating problems at the root causes, not just the symptoms, to be making change at a systemic level. Doing what matters requires a capacity to diagnose the problems we face, to understand the underlying patterns, to remove barriers, to find the leverage points, and make the change there. It requires us to be conscious of the consequences of our actions and to choose to do good, not harm, according to the deeper values and the higher ideals we each hold.
3. Start now
The future is created by how we live now. It is not necessary to compromise who we are in the present or to wait to take off the lid that is keeping us from allowing our creative expression to be put to use in areas that matter to us and the world. We don’t focus on all the reasons why it might not work – if the platform and tools do not exist to make our dream possible, we get going in creating them. Learning comes with joyful and peaceful action now
4. Engage with Others
Connect with something bigger than yourself. Search for those who are working on similar or related things, share ideas with them, ask them for help, and work with them where useful. Be willing to offer them help when they need it as well. Engaging with others is about engaging with those who share your visions, but also about engaging with those who think differently from you and are doing something that may seem completely different and unrelated. Engage across diversity, for that is how we learn.
5. Ask a Million QuestionsUnderstanding is constantly evolving, and there is always the possibility of future discovery. While committing to our current intentions, we have to continue to question our own views as we continue to question others and listen to their answers. As we start to view the world from the perspective of life, more and more practices around us simply do not make sense. We are surrounded by paradoxes in a phase when established systems no longer meet our needs. We need to perceive and question these paradoxes, daring to appear naive, while developing the capacity to transcend them.
As Einstein said, no problem is solved from the same consciousness that created it. It is only when we have compassionately examined, and changed, the underlying patterns of thought to be more life-affirming, can we truly move towards a thriving life for all on Earth, including the environment.