We Cannot Change Others, We Can Change Ourselves
These are tough times for peacemakers. Locally, nationally and internationally violence and intimidation face us daily. The recent atrocities committed in Paris, Beirut, and Baghdad shocked and saddened all of us.
While we cannot change others, we can change ourselves. Working for peace within ourselves helps us spread peace to family, friends, coworkers and the larger community.
We are eternally grateful for your support because everyday Peace Learning Center’s facilitators and volunteers witness personal change with preschool through high school students, parents, teachers and community members as we help each person find the peace and peacemaker within.
When they are first exposed to PLC programs, many struggling teenagers believe they will not survive beyond 25 years of age, so they live with no hope for tomorrow. Tragically it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy for way too many.
“My mother worked three jobs and my dad was in prison,” a 19 year-old young man told me at a meeting. “She wouldn’t let me go outside to play so I watched TV all the time seeing all the things other people had. When I went outside at 14, I got a gun because I knew that was how I was going to get that stuff for me.” After spending time in prison, he now is gainfully employed and attributes his faith in turning his life around.
Our data in schools shows Peace Learning Center reduces disciplinary actions by over 70% and helps students raise grades from D’s to B’s. How? We find young people and adults must first face the facts that you are the only one responsible for what you say and do. You cannot blame others for your words and actions.
Once you take personal responsibility for your life rather than blaming others and cashing in on the entitlements of victimhood, you start developing hope for the future. Hope for the future leads to ownership over education and career planning.
Locally, we all must work to increase the opportunities for youth to gain jobs, intern and mentorships, tutors, and friends. Indianapolis has wonderful school choices but our out-of-school programs are shrinking and neglected.
Please help us extend peace education into our community by volunteering, giving and spreading the word about our work. Together we can change things for the better.
Thank you again for all of you who believe peace is possible and who do your part to support peace education.
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
This blog post was written by Tim Nation, Executive Director and Co-founder of Peace Learning Center.