Student Reflections on Peace

By Ms. Kirsten Bowles, Junior School Counsellor
 
JK–3 students gathered for a Remembrance Day assembly this morning in the dining hall. A silent procession of students, with only the plaintive song of the bagpipes to call them in, set the mood for a meaningful assembly.
 
Grades 2 and 7 students spoke elegantly in pairs to reflect on peace, at the global, community and personal levels, and lit candles for each. Their written reflections are included below. Following a heartfelt singing of “A Wish for Peace” by the grades 2/3 choir, and a moment of thoughtful silence, the entire assembly left in silence, carrying the light of peace in their hearts and out into the world.
 
Peace in the World

Rory Walsh (grade 7):
“Peace in the world means the absence of war and conflict. It would require that nations get along by listening to each other and compromising. Our shared resources and environment would be our highest priority in order to make a sustainable world for future generations. Peace in the world also means that differences don’t divide us, but instead, they make us unique and interesting. In a peaceful world, we would all be equal.”
 
Nicolas Perrot (grade 2): “I can make the world a more peaceful place by reminding people that it is okay that we are different from each other and that we don’t have to fight about it. I can do my part to take care of nature—like the trees, the ocean and the air.”
 
Peace in our Communities

Dylan Bowles (grade 7): “Peace in our communities means people with different perspectives and shared values working toward the same goals. Peace is when we are so inclusive that being different is no longer celebrated as something unusual but instead it is just what we expect as normal. Peace in the community is doing the right thing, like helping people in need, looking after the environment, and being a good neighbour.”
 
Tora McDonough (grade 2): “I can make my community a more peaceful place by looking after animals, helping a homeless person and picking up garbage. At school I can be careful not to waste food at the dining hall, and I can ask my friends, “Can I help you?”
 
Peace in our Hearts
 
Annie Hu (grade 7): “Peace in our hearts means letting go of stress and worries, and freedom from the anxiety and bad emotions within us. It means fully embracing the world around us, without distraction, and realizing that everything in life is beautiful. Accept who you are and don’t change yourself for anyone. Peace in our hearts means not only thinking about ourselves but also noticing the needs of those around us, because someday, that cycle of happiness will spread back into our hearts.”
 
Emma Majdandzic-Rinot (grade 2): "I have peace in my heart when I am with my family or quietly reading a book. I feel peaceful when I use mindfulness to stay calm. When someone I love gives me a hug, my heart feels warm and happy."
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