Laura Taylor, the founder Aloha Peace Project (APP) wanted to share gratitude and inspire the wonderful volunteers who serve the children on Kaua’i at a recent volunteer meeting. She shared the story of “The Butterfly Effect”. I’m passing it on to you.
The butterfly effect was a theory that was a result of a mathematical computation that Edward Lorenz made in 1961 as he was studying the weather. His original data was entered at .506127. When he later shortened it to .506, he discovered that there was a significant change in weather prediction. A colleague stated that if that was true, “a seagull could flap its wings and change the course of weather forever.” [Wikipedia]. It meant that in certain conditions the movement of a small amount of air could move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air-eventually capable of affecting even extreme weather on the other side of the planet. Lorenz later referred to the law as “The Butterfly Effect” because it was more poetic, but the true name of the law is, “The law of sensitive dependence upon initial conditions.”
All the volunteers are volunteering because they want to inspire the children they work with to live peacefully and help create peace in their lives and even in the world. Mentors must never underestimate what their guidance can do. Let’s follow a child’s potential path.
In 1st grade a child learns from APP that he can “Stop! Think! Peace”, and is given coaching in how to “Talk it Out”. Empathy, empowerment, and resolving conflict skills continue to be taught throughout elementary school In 4th grade he is lucky enough to be selected to be a peer mediator for his school. [The next article will focus on that.] In 5th grade he learns how badly people who are bullied feel, and that he can help create a caring majority that won’t allow bullying in their schools. In 7th grade he becomes part of a peer mediation program and helps others resolve conflicts. He feels so fulfilled doing this that he continues on through high school. In fact, he chooses a college that has a peer mediation program and studies diplomacy and negotiation.
He then becomes an excellent negotiator for the unions, and is noticed by the government, and is sent to school to learn about international mediation and negotiation. He is then chosen to negotiate a terribly volatile situation between another country and the US, and helps craft an agreement that averts a war. Millions of lives are saved. Millions of dollars can be used to take care of healthy people instead of buying weapons or caring for the families of soldiers who have died.
Someone writes his biography as a children’s book, and children and their teachers are inspired to choose and teach about peace. The world has been changed by one person and his peace teachers and mentors along the way. Continue the story out in your own mind.
Even though APP is not in every elementary school yet, Ms. Taylor is generous about people using her ideas and materials as long as they give the credit to APP. There are people on the mainland who use APP ideas. Here is one that can be shared:
On a piece of card stock or poster board trace a circle at least 8 inches in diameter. Paint it blue. When it dries, paint, or cut out and glue a picture of your state in the circle off to the side so that there is enough room to make your hand print in white like the picture below. Draw a yellow beak and the eye a color you love. Copy the letters that say, “Aloha Peace Project”. Or if you want to start a peace club, write the name of your club around the circle. You can go to the website; www.alohapeaceproject.org to get some ideas of things to do, or Google peace activities for kids. Wow! There are 3,350,000 results! So click on images instead, and look for something you’d like to do from the picture.
Our logo is a picture of the world showing the Hawaiian Islands. A child’s hand made into a peace dove is reaching for the islands illustrating that the children will be the ones to bring peace to the world. As Gandhi said, “If we are to have world peace, it must begin with the children.” Go for it kids, we know you’ll make a difference, and we’re here to help. If you have any questions about the Aloha Peace Project organization, contact Laura Taylor through the above website. If you have peace questions you’d like answered in this bi-weekly column, contact me at email@example.com