The greatest opportunity I see to create peace in the world and our community is by teaching the youth the right way to treat people and impart on them a sense of empathy. Sooner than the older generation realizes we, the younger generation, will be taking leadership roles. It is important that when that day comes the new leaders will use these tools to steer the world in the right direction. The world is hard to change but if everyone treats each other as an individual that Is worth listening to or helping then the world will be a million times closer to achieving true peace.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to be able to give a speech about peace at the Newbury and Bradford elementary school peace day. The members of Oxbows National Honor Society, the sum of all the students at Bradford and Newbury Elementary schools and I hiked up Tucker Mountain in Newbury. At the top, we stopped to eat lunch, then we all gathered on the hillside. On the fiddle, Patrick Ross played an incredible song about peace that he had written. Then my two friends Emily Carson and Eliza Goodell and I gave our speeches after we had gathered on the hillside and formed a giant peace sign.
The effect this day had on me was that it made me realize that something happens between elementary school and high school that changes people profoundly. Take the same group of elementary school kids six years later and do the same activities, they will think it is stupid. As elementary school students, they were inspired to make a difference. What brings about this change in behavior I do not know, but I do know that if this change did not happen and students stayed inspired and ready to help, then the world would be one step closer to achieving peace.