Letter: Teaching peace: an opportunity for a better future

Graphic by Lori Deaton

The coronavirus has made it crystal clear that we stand at this time and place on the fragile threshold of moving beyond the industrial age into a new world. This time of crisis can be used to bring our nation and the world into a new relationship, hopefully stronger, more democratic and caring.

In the midst of this uncertainty, the local Veterans for Peace and other local groups still vigil nonviolently at Vance Monument to create an awareness for peace and justice. For example, local groups celebrated the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons that came into force on Jan. 22. It bans the development, testing, production, manufacture and acquisition or stockpiling nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Not only “use of” but also the threat of the use are illegal. At least 61 nations signed the treaty. The United States has yet to sign it.

Let us teach peacemaking in our schools and include it in our way of life. We must develop an environment in our schools that includes the development of mind, body and heart — encouraging artistic creativity, which is one of the most important factors in enabling humans to reach their full potential.

We can advocate for courses at every level from fourth grade through college that focus on the legacy of slavery, discrimination, classism and social issues that have an ongoing impact on the lives of all of us today. We need to teach and inspire our young to create a “caring society” that has the strength and empathy to respond to such problems as we face today.

My experiences with local high school and college students here in Asheville are encouraging. I am encouraged by the intelligence and insights of the students. It gives me hope for the future, but we adults also need to educate ourselves and become informed. There is an obvious need to reinvent education, politics, economics, the media and, yes, even religion.

Once again, I encourage parents and teachers, and all citizens to focus on our future legacy to our children. We can focus on a way of life that teaches and inspires our young to create a “caring society” informed by democratic ideals — otherwise we will remain trapped in a system of power without compassion or morality, strength without empathy and uninformed citizens.

All of us may not be able to actively participate in nonviolent demonstrations or study history and social issues, but each of us can practice kindness and some form of prayer and meditation to develop an inner peace within ourselves.

Without peace at home, all the hard work, vision and hope for a functioning government and economic security will overwhelm our struggle to survive. Democracy requires a united active participation to respond to our multiple problems. This requires the practice of peace, justice, empathy and compassion* to support families, teachers, the caring profession and our neighbors. No small act of caring is wasted. (*Compassion that is not based on feeling pity for others. This involves an awareness of our shared independence and obligation to help one another.)

Let us all give thanks for these days of crisis and opportunity for the capacity to unite the human community to work for peace and justice through loving kindness in the midst of our polarized country.


— Ed Sacco


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

2 thoughts on “Letter: Teaching peace: an opportunity for a better future

  1. indy499

    Ed, I can hear the humming playing in the background when reading your piece. You are really in la la land my friend.

    To take just one simple example of how skewed and irrelevant your thinking is, let’s look at the UN. Bunch of bureaucrats sitting around in the world’s most expensive cities, drawing big salaries and not actually producing anything. The work product you cited is a joke. No country WITH nuclear weapons signed the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons. It doesn’t matter and no person with two feet on the ground cares what Nepal and Togo think about nukes.

    • Jim

      It doesn’t matter the global proclamations, implementation is happening at a local level.
      “Democracy” now means no opposition to the agenda by censoring it.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.