Peace Pinwheels Sept 2019
"Peace begins with a smile." Mother Teresa
I was Googling quotes about peace, found several from people I admire, but nothing quite fit with International Day of Peace on September 21. Then I saw Mother Teresa’s and was delighted at how perfect it was for the way our Lower School students spread peace.
For the last several years paper and sticks have turned into sweet pinwheels decorated with words of harmony and happy drawings. On Friday they will fill the grassy area by the parking lot. Our students join children and adults around the globe in Pinwheels for Peace, thanks to Kelly Mansfield and other Lower School teachers involved in other peace projects. Some students also colored doves and wrote thoughts of peace to display in the hall. These wonderful projects let students creatively express their sincere hopes for peace.
Every day we see the students sharing peace and kindness, goodness and community in simple, loving ways. An example … Outside the art room is a white board where students have written comments about the first week of school. Many of the quotes, especially from students new to SMA this year, are about being included at recess, invited to join a table at lunch, and similar welcoming gestures. If peace begins with a smile, our students are shining examples of spreading peace.
Peace is not named as one of our Loretto School Values but to me it is the result of our living by faith, building community, showing respect and seeking justice. The cherished line from the Loretto Constitutions — “We work for justice and act for peace because the gospel urges us” — are at the heart of service learning, Late Start outreach projects, the sincere singing of “We Are Peacemakers,” which teacher Sharon Gayley wrote for the Lower School. On the first Monday of each month, we join the Loretto Community in praying for an end to gun violence through an age-appropriate focus on peace and kindness, rather than dwelling on violence.
Helping bring peace to our world is central to the Loretto Community as we work, march and pray around challenges that at times seem unsurmountable. I — and likely many of us — have a lot to learn from our young students. Their beautiful pinwheels and their happy smiles make our world a brighter, more peace-filled place and give us hope for the future.