A Message of Peace
by Children's House Directress Lizz Loder
As we honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the great peacemakers of our time, I was reminded of a speech given by Mohandas Gandhi at the Montessori Teacher Training College in London on October 28, 1931.
After praising Dr. Montessori for her work and professing his admiration for education that was “taught through laws of nature - nature consistent with human dignity, not nature that governs the beast.” Gandhi spoke of his wish that this manner of education would be available to all children, regardless of their economic circumstances.
As he concluded his remarks, Gandhi stated, “You have truly remarked that if we are to reach real peace in this world and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children and if they grow up in their natural innocence, we won’t have to struggle, we won’t have to pass fruitless resolutions, but we shall go from love to love and peace to peace, until at last all corners of the world are covered with that peace and love for which, consciously or unconsciously, the whole world is hungering.”
Six years later, in August 1937, Maria Montessori addressed the Sixth International Montessori Congress in Copenhagen where the main theme of the meeting was “Education for Peace.” In her book “Maria Montessori: A Biography,” author Rita Kramer references a Time Magazine article from August 16, 1937 that quotes Dr. Montessori, saying “The adult must understand the meaning of the moral defense of humanity, not the armed defense of nations. He must realize that the child will be the creator of a new world peace. In a suitable environment the child reveals unsuspected social characteristics. The qualities he shows will be the salvation of the world, showing us all the road to peace. And the new child has been born! He will tell us what is needed!”
Let us be inspired by the words of these peacemakers, both in our work and our daily lives, until the time comes when our hunger for true peace the world over is satisfied. Let us also remember the closing words of this anthem sung often by Dr. King and his followers: “We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace, we shall live in peace someday; Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall live in peace someday.”