My friend Keachia's email signature says Peace begins with me, simple enough right?! Such a simple sentiment has really resonated with me this summer. Before the summer began Pakistan was just a place that the kids heard mention of on NPR and Mas que nada was just the title of a Sergio Mendes song. Since the beginning of the summer my children and I have met so many families from Brazil, the Middle East, Haiti, other parts of the US, the Caribbean and a number of families from Spanish speaking countries, that so many more things have been given a new meaning.
Living in SoFl, it is not so strange to have intercultural experiences after all my neighbors downstairs are Brazilian, Peruvian and Puerto Rican! My children have always gone to very culturally diverse schools, but this summer I found myself going out of my way to make contact through meaningful conversation and it ultimately struck me...If we all took the time and made deliberate effort to connect with people from around the world we could start a chain reaction and possibly eradicate the ease with whichwe engage in warfare. If people in Washington knew Ali and his family personally, they probably would be less likely to drop bombs in his grandmother's backyard...and maybe the international community wouldnt have such a negative perception of Americans...hmmm, thats a thought!
I recognize that not only does Peace BEGIN with me it is my RESPONSIBILITY to plant the seed and nurture it so that future generations reap the benefits.