Have you ever considered offering your own version of the Nobel Peace Prize? We should recognize when a student, faculty, or staff member, a co-worker, a friend or acquaintance, a family member or good neighbor, someone in the local news or an elected official, acts like a peacemaker, like someone who is committed to resolving conflicts in constructive and creative ways, restoring lost harmony and healing any hurts. We need to reinforce and highlight these kinds of positive behaviors.
Kim Watchorn, an experienced teacher who leads staff development efforts, wants to see the idea of a Nobel Peace Prize replicated on a local level. “All too often, too much attention goes to those who cause problems or conflicts—the drama kings and queens, the bullies, the cranks. However, rather than awarding people who are performing their ‘jobs’ in a professional manner, we could make a public acknowledgement of those special actions that honor the work of those who have stepped beyond their roles and acted with nobility in a quest for peace and reconciliation. By adding a ceremony and award we educate others about the value we place on peacemaking, the kinds of actions we will celebrate.”
Bill Timpson has been on the faculty at Colorado State University in its School of Education for many years and a member of the Fort Collins Rotary Club where his focus on sustainable peacebuilding in Burundi, East Africa, has been supported by two Global Grants. What follows is adapted from his 2009 book, 147 Tips for Teaching Peace and Reconciliation, co-authored with an international group of peace scholars that included Ed Brantmeier, Nat Kees, Tom Cavanagh, Claire McGlynn and Elavie Ndura (Madison, WI: Atwood). If you have questions or ideas, contact Bill: firstname.lastname@example.org