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A Meditation on Peacemaking

by Elizabeth Jones
November/December 2017
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/a-meditation-on-peacemaking/5023834/

Once upon a time there weren’t many human beings on Planet Earth, and the ones there were subsisted in small face-to-face groups. Because they had big brains and insatiable curiosity, they kept exploring possibilities: What’s this? What does it do? And because they had opposable thumbs, they could ask, “What can I do with it?” — and then do it (just as four-year-olds do at play). They wanted to remember their discoveries, and so they invented what we now call culture: arts and artifacts, including language. Each group had its own culture, and that’s what its young children learned. Each group — families, clans — cared for its members.


If they encountered strangers, they could ignore them, defend their own territory, or kill them. Killing was most exciting; when it expanded into organized warfare, it became a whole way of life, and the framework for remembering centuries of history.


They kept inventing many things — ways to travel, ways to dance and sing, names for new discoveries. Wheels and ships made colonization possible — and if you find a whole new continent, why shouldn’t you regress to the stage of autonomy and say, “Mine!” If some other folks were there first, ...

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