We Need a Roadmap to the Path of Coexistence
In the wake of recent tragedies in Littleton, Colorado, and elsewhere across the country, where diversity was the prime target of hate, parents and educators have begun to search for tools and resources for bringing our nation back to the path of coexistence. Unfortunately, few exist, and we have virtually no resource for current and up-to-date information on successful methods for achieving the goals that we know we must reach. In short, our nation is looking for a roadmap that will point them in the direction of coexistence, harmony and respect for diversity.
Coexistence is not just tolerance - we will not 'put up' with each other any more - we must celebrate each other. Indeed, the very word coexistence has a new definition in the emerging global community. The time has come when one must begin to recognize the fundamental unity of the human race, a unity based on diversity and not sameness. As M. Scott Peck most beautifully states: "Share our similarities, celebrate our differences."
We are different and yet the same, and children need to learn to appreciate diversity much as they appreciate sameness.
Our children are not born with hate. Instead, adults mold the environment for them in which they learn the prejudices their elders have developed. We need to teach our children to be open minded to other possible ways of thinking and being, and to appreciating the diversity of the human race. The Council for Global Education has been working to create curriculum that addresses the development of coexistence skills in children. These are essential ingredients of an education in the 21st Century.
Two of the most important steps to build coexistence in the last Century have been the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations, and the Declaration of a Global Ethic by the Council for a Parliament of World Religions. They provide a worldwide accepted framework for organizing our differences in the greater vision of unity in diversity.