EDUCATION BEAT: Blessed be the peacemakers | Columnists

EDUCATION BEAT: Blessed be the peacemakers | Columnists

EDUCATION BEAT: Blessed be the peacemakers | Columnists


Talley, Ben  Education Beat (mug)

Ben Talley | Education Beat

Democracies are inherently fragile. Since July 4, 1776, countless fledgling democracies have been flung to the rubble heap of history, having been destroyed, not by a foreign power, but from within; their citizenry having been blinded by false news, outright lies, conspiracy theories and infighting, all leading them to ignorantly shatter their own freedom.

As a teacher, I feel that I was not good at a great many things. A list of what I was not good at would likely be too long to fit into my allotted column space here, perhaps not even within this entire Sunday’s newspaper.

Yet I feel I was at least somewhat successful at teaching children to be good; more specifically, to be peacemakers. The same can perhaps be said of my teaching adult male inmates at the Bristol Jail.

When facing interpersonal problems with others, any of us can choose four basic options; ignore, fight, flight, or make peace. One option always requires intelligence, foresight and compassion; that would be peacemaking.

Families get into arguments. That’s what families do. But if they love one another, they also seek to restore peace.

Now is the time for Americans to step up and become peacemakers. We need to become neighbors again. We need to become friends again. We need to become family again.

My family is very politically disparate. This Thanksgiving, I will be sitting around a table with both Trump and Biden voters. I will eat turkey with kinfolk who are proponents of the Bristol Resort and Casino, and those who are not.


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