Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Education as the Practice of Nonviolence (1)

What would it look like for us to renounce all this violence and all of these instruments of violence? What would it mean to struggle with even more persistence than ever for a country that is humane, fair, equitable, and caring, but to do so nonviolently? How conceivable is it to be creative, engaged, undeterred activists for a better world, but to be so by employing nonviolent means toward the accomplishment of peaceful ends?

I honestly don’t quite know the answers to these questions, but would like to try to get there by exploring an approach to education that is nonviolent in both process and product. It would highlight practices that avoid diminishing people or bringing them down, while striving always to appreciate people, to elevate them, helping them to enact their best and highest selves. Nonviolence actively resists and disapproves of beliefs, ideologies, world views that diminish or abase people and works actively to support people’s creativity and fulfillment as human beings. In a very real sense, nonviolence promotes those forces that support life, that nourish possibility and nurture our passion for recreating those conditions that contribute to human flourishing.

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