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The peace compass

I hope that more parents and educators will choose to offer it to children

Carlotta Cerri

The Montessori principle of educating towards peace, the basis on which Maria Montessori built her work, is perhaps the value that we have most integrated in our way of educating our kids. It's reflected in every action and conversation in our daily lives: from picking up a packet of chips that have been left on the ground and throwing it in the trash, to agreeing not to buy balloons for birthday parties, to talking to our children about the uncomfortable truths of the world — wars, racism, hunger, homophobia...

Maria Montessori talked so much about peace because she lived between the two World Wars: for those of us who are lucky enough not to have a real war close to home (there are other types of wars, made of words, but no less violent), it seems to me that peace is overrated. But I believe that it should be a value and a principle that guides each of our steps, because when we find ourselves at a crossroads or have to make a decision (even if it's simply writing a comment on Instagram) if our goal is to promote peace, our words, actions and reactions will change automatically.

It's no coincidence that I chose to call one of my Italian online courses "Educating Long Term" because sometimes we forget that we are not raising children, we are raising adults: who knows, maybe if we give them "the peace compass" through our example (treating them as individuals of integrity, offering them a more informed education, made up of more benefit of the doubt, respect and trust and less "because I say so!") they'll really have the opportunity to change something in the world.

I choose to believe in it and I hope that more and more parents and educators will decide to give children the peace compass. Because children, given the opportunity, will choose to use it.

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