A FAMILY of YOUNG SOULS, friends around the world
All gather for a Circle of Love around the Peace Pole at the College of Metaphysics at the close of Family Weekend. This annual gathering for SOMA members and their families occurs late June-early July each year.
by Victoria Christgau, Amy R. Farrell, Chris Farrell, and Akira Kon…from the World Peace Prayer Society
Peace on earth begins in the heart and mind of each individual. Words, thoughts and actions are alive; they radiate vibration and energy. The thoughts and actions of each individual influence the destiny of humanity as well as that of plants, animals, and all creation on earth. The sum of the attitudes projected by every citizen influences the well-being of one’s family, community and the future of life on earth.
The World Peace Prayer Society, a nonprofit, non-sectarian, member-supported organization dedicated to spreading the message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” all over the world, was founded in 1955 by Masahisa Goi (1916-1980). Mr. Goi, a gifted poet, writer, and singer, dedicated his life to humanity. The devastation caused by World War II affected Mr. Goi in a profound way. He searched for ways to respond to the desperate cry for peace, not only in Japan but around the world. He prayed and asked for guidance so that he might be of service for the betterment of humanity. Through steadfast commitment and faith, Mr. Goi developed much insight into the spiritual nature of humankind and discovered the universality of the prayer, “May Peace Prevail on Earth.”
Mr. Goi believed that as more and more people are touched by this prayer and begin to live and act in the spirit of this message, a great transformation will take place in global consciousness, bringing about peace and harmony in our personal lives as well as in the world at large. (To learn more about the power of thought and the movement of peace, read the article “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the November 1995 issue of Thresholds Quarterly. –ed.)
Peace Pals is a program designed to encourage young people to become peacemakers dedicated to living in the spirit of the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” This prayer is a simple, universal expression designed to unite the hearts of all people in our common desire and hope for peace on Earth. The Peace Pals program fosters understanding and respect for the diversity and oneness of the human family through the arts, education, communication and friendship. By nurturing inner peace and global awareness in the leaders of tomorrow, Peace Pals will help create a future where peace and harmony become a way of life.
Children who participate in Peace Pals learn to connect with one another and to care for the earth. Learning to live in harmony with each other and in balance with nature leads to peace. Peace Pals learn that all life is connected. Through exchange of letters and creative projects children share their ideas and experiences with others around the world.
The words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” express our dream for a positive future. In every language of the world, the meaning of this simple idea is the same. The vision is to share this message with as many people as possible and to build a network of Peace Pals representing every country on earth. Our hope is that the friendship established among Peace Pals will continue to grow through the years.
Letters and Writing
One of the things you can do as a Peace Pal is to write to other Peace Pals around the world. (See information at the end of this article to find out how your class or group can be matched with a class or group from another country. – ed.) New-found friendships will be the fruit of this keeping-in-touch. There are many things to write about. Every day we discover new things about the world and people around us. Your everyday experiences can seem like an adventure to someone far away and telling a good story is an age-old pastime. Asking questions always makes it easier for your Peace Pal to answer your letter. Soon you will be waiting for your Peace Pal’s letter to arrive.
You might start to keep a journal or diary if you don’t already do so. This is a good place to record your thoughts and feelings from day to day, and to report what you have experienced and learned. Writing every day will help you develop a pattern of keeping your journal or diary current. You will find that you look forward to this time as it becomes an exercise in creativity and quiet reflection. Feel free to write in any style, prose or poetry, to draw, to record your questions or prayers. Your book will become a treasure chest of memories for you to enjoy.
Here is a good way to begin writing in your journal. Use your imagination to picture a favorite place. The imagination is one of the most wonderful gifts people have. We need our imagination to invent or create anything. When we use imagination, we form pictures in our mind. To begin, get comfortable, relax and picture this:
You are in a favorite place. What does it look like? What are you doing? Are there sounds you can hear? Smells? How do you feel? Are there other people with you? Picture everyone around you happy and joyful. Everything is peaceful. Can you now picture your family, friends, and children around the world living peacefully? What does it look like and sound like?
Take a few minutes to enjoy this scene. Now put this on paper, using images and words to express your ideas. Share this with your Peace Pal.
Teachers, scout leaders, heads of community youth organizations, and others who are in a leadership position with children aged 5 – 15 and who would like to include Peace Pals activities in their work on an ongoing basis are invited to become Peace Pal Coordinators. Coordinators will network with the international membership via the Peace Pal Coordinator Newsletter, sharing ideas about how to offer experiential activities that further young people’s understanding of world peace.
Peace Pal Coordinators may also participate in a matching program to exchange correspondence, customs, artwork, and ideas with a group of Peace Pals in another country. For more information, contact Peace Pals, c/o the World Peace Prayer Society, RR1, Box 118, Benton Road, Wassaic, NY 12592. Phone 914-877-6093.•
(Excerpted from “Peace Pals Activity Guide for Children” with permission from the World Peace Prayer Society.) ©1999 Vol. 17 No. 3 Thresholds Quarterly
©2002 School of Metaphysics