World peace starts with kids. That’s what I learned from the Dalai Lama when I first heard him speak at the Orpheum in 2006.
It was the simplest, truest thing I had ever heard about how to change the world. If you want to create less conflict (between people, between countries), you need to start with the most basic building block of society: the individual child.
Let me tell you, things have changed since I was in grade school. Big time.
Did you know that BC is pioneering a new approach in childhood education that incorporates social and emotional coping techniques into everyday lessons?
It’s true. And it’s part of a growing trend across Canada and around the world to give kids access to these techniques at home and at school.
Some people call this movement ‘social and emotional learning’ and I believe its potential to effect the way we way we live our lives is enormous.
I started volunteering for the Dalai Lama Center for Peace & Education shortly after that 2006 event and I’ve been totally riveted by social and emotional learning ever since. The purpose of the Center is to help more kids access to these life skills.
I’ve learned that there is a mountain of research from impressive places like Harvard, MIT and UBC about the positive effects of social and emotional learning. There are innovative teachers around the world who are pilot testing new ways of running their classrooms founded on these techniques.
Just for a moment, stop and think of the possibility of a generation of kids graduating high school with advanced skills for dealing with difficult emotions, handling conflict, and managing life’s challenges.
I want to live in that world.
I’m guessing that a lot of bullied and depressed kids want to live in that world too.