By teaching our students to think, care, and act, we empower them to build a peaceful future.


Welcome to Think, Care, Act, where teachers and students can find rationales and resources to infuse required curricula with peace, character, global, and multicultural concepts throughout the year.

To act in a world whose problems seem overwhelming requires being able to use the powers of critical and creative thinking and compassionate and inclusive care. Employing these tools, adults and youth alike can work effectively and conscientiously to solve problems big and small, global and local.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE: TEACH FOR PEACE ON MOTHERS DAY AND EVERY DAY

“This kid. He is going to make the world a better place. He came into the world wide-eyed and curious. He has never met a stranger. He doles out smiles without reserve. He is resilient and unafraid.
He is completely full of joy and pure potential.”
–Jen Cannon, Mothers Day 2017

"Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs…."
Julia Ward Howe, 1870


Years ago, with other visitors to Colonial Williamsburg, I participated in a historical re-enactment of a militia training session.  As we stood shoulder to shoulder, harangued by “officers,” “shot” by musket, and rushed by bayonets, a shudder went through the line of adults and children.  We were to be turned into killing machines.  

I thought of my father, a World War II infantryman, and the trauma, fear, and injury he suffered as he endured basic training to turn him from a loving son, brother, husband and neighbor to a weapon of war.  For decades, my mother was also a survivor of war, holding my father as he screamed in the night.  She brought him back to a loving life, and she refocused his thousand-mile stare.  As their daughter, I work for a peaceful future for our children and ourselves. 

Remember the Origin of Mothers Day: A Call for Peace

As mother and grandmother, I love the Mothers Day video chats, cards, and calls, and I smile reading the loving posts of friends and family.  Yet I also encourage all mothers—and teachers—to remember the original sentiments of the Mothers Day holiday. 


Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910) was an abolitionist, suffragist, and peace activist, often remembered as the author of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” in 1861.  Her 1870 proclamation of peace to the women of the world led to the creation of Mothers Day. 

Anna Jarvis carried on the initiative, and eventually fought the ensuing commercialization.  Unfortunately, card companies don’t reference the sentiments for global peace at the heart of the holiday.

The Proclamation


In her proclamation, Howe called for an international congress of women to gather together to work for peace.  She decried the militarization of society and the carnage she had observed first hand as she visited Civil War battlefields.  Read her words:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood does not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail & commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesars but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.


Rock the World: Teach for Peace

William Ross Wallace’s 1861 poem inspired the saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.”  Mothers, fathers, guardians, grandparents, friends, and teachers: let’s rock the world for peace! 

Today my daughter-in-law offered a heart-felt salutation to our beautiful grandson.  I offer the resources below to help us make her words true for every child in the world:  

“This kid. He is going to make the world a better place. He came into the world wide-eyed and curious. He has never met a stranger. He doles out smiles without reserve. He is resilient and unafraid. He is completely full of joy and pure potential.”


Happy Mothers Day.
--Susan Gelber Cannon, May 2017


RESOURCES:



  • Learn about Crista Tinari’s PeacePraxis work teaching peace and kindness.  Great classroom and home resources are here and in her book: Create a Culture of Kindness: http://www.peacepraxis.com/



  • Learn about the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom [WILPF] and its ongoing work for disarmament, peace, and the advancement of civil society: http://wilpfus.org/story/history


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