But can our vision be more than a nice sentiment? Can peace be more than just a dream? The current climate (both politically and environmentally) are not very "peaceful". Climate change is rearing its devastatingly ugly head, while families, kids and even our own staff face racist, xenophobic and sexist experiences that effect their lives.
So how can we dream about a peaceful future when our present seems so dire? Because we have to. Elise Boulding in Cultures of Peace: The Hidden Side of History says “Peace Cultures thrive on and are nourished by visions of how things might be…The very ability to imagine something different and better than what currently exists is critical for the possibility of social change…People can't work for what they can't imagine.”
We recognize that peace is difficult, but we envision a peaceful future because when we think positively, the future holds endless possibilities.
Recently, we tried something we don't do very often. We brought together a group of adults and used the Kids Creative process to imagine a story. I challenged this group to use their imaginations, which is easy with kids, but is increasingly tougher as our participants get older. This was an amazing story--before we spoke about any negatives in society, in our lives, we just imagined.
When our imaginations are unfettered, positivity reigned. The room had a palpable energy and an excitement because anything was possible. We could have dreamed of unique solutions to any problem, and that's what we did.
A group of adults created "The Jaded Moon", the story of worms from Mars who get to visit Earth once a year to eat all of the candy corn that nobody else eats. Our story explored many themes, including agriculture, environmentalism, communication, economic monopolies and, most importantly, conflict and resolution.
We all left the workshop to return to the "real" world, but the Kids Creative vision was front and center in each of our minds. We all left with a bit more hope, because we had dreamed of what was possible.
And that's what the Kids Creative vision is all about. Training each of us--kids and adults alike--to approach each other and the world as positively as possible, and to never give up our ability to dream.