Dona Nobis Pacem – Vocabulary of Peace

By , June 4, 2008 12:01 am

Apparently UNESCO and the United Nations declared the first ten years of this new millennium a Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World. Well, since we are eight years into our “Decade for a Culture of Peace,” I guess I missed that bit of news, and so did the rest of the world it seems.

My two oldest children are now 5 and 7. They have lived their whole lives during this era of a “Culture of Peace.” Without TV, they don’t see the images of war, but they are old enough to notice the words spoken on NPR.

I wish that the words I was having to explain were words of peace, as the UN and UNESCO had hoped: harmony, diversity, love, friendship. Unfortunately what they are asking about is bombs, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorists, suicide. It could be worse: they haven’t yet inquired about torture, rape, beheading, water boarding … and more importantly, they aren’t living all these horrible words as many children are all over the world.

My parents both grew up in England during WWII. They knew war as more than mere words on a radio. They lived it every day of their childhoods. Air raids, bombs, blackouts, gas masks, shelters, barrage balloons, and shrapnel were part of their daily vocabulary and experience.

Will there ever come a day when those words of horror and violence will be mere ghoulish historical curiosities such as words like guillotine, drawing and quartering, the rack, and the iron maiden?

I want children to grow up learning a vocabulary of peace. As much as I would wish it to be otherwise, it seems unlikely that those fortunate souls will be my children. I simply must hope that some future generation will know the common horrible words of our era only as mere historical remnants of a more violent and primitive time.


Please visit Mimi’s Blog for a master list of all the peace posts that will be written today by bloggers from all over the world.

Peace be with you.

15 Responses to “Dona Nobis Pacem – Vocabulary of Peace”

  1. Kate in NJ says:

    I’m in! Lovely post.

    Kate in NJs last blog post..Some books to read on a Tuesday

  2. Gattina says:

    you speak out of my heart ! so much blabla and so few action. When I think that in the 60/70 my generation already screamed for peace and the slogan was “make love not war” and “peace and love” ! I was born in the middle of WWII and know from my family what people went through, no matter what country it was !
    70 million people died but there is still war in the world !
    Peace and Love !

    Gattinas last blog post..

  3. Jamie says:

    “Words have power … If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.”

    Tom Stoppard

    May we all say together: PEACE

  4. Skittles says:

    Wishing you, me, all of us, peace.

    Skittless last blog post..Dona Noblis Pacem

  5. […] Blogger friends for peace today: Homeschooling in the Garden State, Unplug Your Kids […]

  6. julie says:

    Very good post for a very important day.

    Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Ps. 34:14

  7. Comedy Plus says:

    What a wonderful post. Peace to you and yours. :)

    Comedy Pluss last blog post..Dona Nobis Pacem

  8. RennyBA says:

    Great to see you on board and what a nice Globe!

    Hello from Norway – peace to you and the one you love!

    RennyBAs last blog post..Dona Nobis Pacem

  9. Cassie says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more! You write such a moving post and I just love your peace globe!

    Cassies last blog post..Blog For Peace

  10. kari says:

    There will be eternal peace, one day. It hurts though, to see our children hurt, and it IS hard to teach about “mean people” I so wish I could teach only happy stuff.

  11. […] (Work of the Poet), 77. Jayne,78. Airhead 55, 79. Simply Siamese- Peace, 80. The Cats P, 81. Mom Unplugged, 82. Vixen, 83. Table for Five, 84. KateinNJ, 85. Chica, 86. Kashim & Othello and Momma Astrid, […]

  12. […] Dona Nobis Pacem – Vocabulary of Peace […]

  13. Travis says:

    I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to asnwer a child’s questions about war. But I think that when you show them love and tolerance, somehow those messages must be dominant. And so maybe they can grow to be agents of peace in the wider world.

    Peace to you and yours.

    Traviss last blog post..A Momentous Day

  14. Akelamalu says:

    A wonderful post for Peace.

    Peace to you and your. :)

    Akelamalus last blog post..Saturday Wordzzle # 16

  15. Mimi Lenox says:

    A vocabulary of peace would be a wonderful legacy for our children. The words and phrases they are learning are hard for me as an adult to understand. I can’t imagine their confusion and fear.
    You are so wise to withhold television from your kids. I admire you. That takes bravery and the moral fortitude to stand up to the societal pressures they’re already facing. What a role model mom you are.

    Thank you for blogging for peace today.
    Peace to you and yours,

    Mimi Lenoxs last blog post..Sunday Blog Chatter: Arlington At Night

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