Fresh Voices: Teen Perspectives on Peacemaking - Shanti Generation

Fresh Voices: Teen Perspectives on Peacemaking

This past Saturday marked the completion of a 17-month pilot run of Shanti Gen’s Youth Peacemakers Training. Over the course of the training, 7 teens committed one Saturday per month to exploring a wide scope of inner and outer peacemaking topics including Non-Violent Communication, Ayurveda, Yoga, issues of power, documentary style film making and more. To culminate our experience, the circle of teens, teachers and family members gathered at Liberation Yoga in Los Angeles to witness the teens share their expressions of their learning experience.

Over the coming weeks, I am thrilled to share several of the teens video projects. Today, I’d like to share just a few very profound words from the teens themselves.

After each teens’ presentation, I asked the same question: “From your experience, what is one of the most critical and/or helpful qualities that you will need going forward as a peacemaker?” Here are some of their responses:

“Friends.” Brandon, 17 years

“Dedication.” Jesus, 16 years

“Perseverance.” Nate, 15 years

“Patience.” Kimmie, 15 years

“Friendliness.” Jonathan, 16 years

Such simple, straightforward ideas. Yet, so true. Today, I’m committed to practicing peacemaking as taught by my students.

Can I be friendly in the face of conflict?

Dedicated even when I feel tired?

Persevere through the obstacles?

Be patient when timeseems to run out?

Can I be friendly to myself when I notice my mind in judgement?

Peacemaking is an on going practice and it is a behavior. Gratitude to all of the teens, teachers and families who participated in this past years training. Looking forward to the next one.

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Beautiful! What a fabulous experience for these teens. Love what you’re up to. Danay DiVirgilio, YogaBuddies


    I would like to believe that one day cosisampon and listening would replace humiliation. But I’m afraid it will take a long time and a lot of work to get there. I’m thinking of the moving comment Gold Dust Twin left on the last post about their personal experience with humiliation within the family. I thought that comment was so emotionally powerful especially because it illustrates that humiliation is (unfortunately) a common occurrence in many homes. I believe the degrading use of humiliation in the home between loved ones needs to be eradicated before people can effectively apply it to greater social situations.

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