The cry for peace is gaining momentum with each passing day as the news reports constantly confront us with incidents that shatter our faith and trust in humanity.  It challenges us to seek new ways to become peacemakers in the midst of the tensions and conflicts that continually surround us.  It asks us to examine how we deal with differences in our interpersonal relationships and in the larger scale of society.

Many believe that a good place to start is in our schools beginning with the youngest children on through high school and college.  In some communities, groups of teachers have initiated an action plan that focuses on ways to build bridges among students, within the school and in the community.  This collaborative effort has resulted in a multifaceted project centered on the simple exercise of tossing a cube with printed phrases on each side that are to be put into action during the day.

In the process, children learn behavior patterns and attitudes that are in consonance with and intrinsic to a child’s nature.  They spontaneously take serious action to help others, and in many instances they too become teachers of peace not only for their peers, but for adults as well.  It is essential to have a pedagogy of peace which joins theory and praxis, principles and actions, values and experiences.  Schools can be a catalyst for transforming the socio-political and cultural dynamics of a community.

The Cube of Peace systematically teaches students and adults to focus on the positive: to respect differences, to overcome difficulties and to solve problems. Those who use the cube build a sense of community within their educational setting that increases self-esteem and their respect for others who are different from themselves. Incidents of bullying and behavior problems decrease and students become more mindful and reflective of their behavior.  It fosters an environment that maximizes learning and helps students become co-builders of peace.

 

The original inspiration:

The Cube of Peace and all its variations (The Cube of Love, The Sports Cube and The Company Cube ™) are tools to promote social harmony by transforming interactions into reciprocal, caring relationships. The idea originated with Focolare Founder Chiara Lubich, recipient of the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education, the Augsburg Peace Prize in Germany, and the Defender of Peace Prize in India.