Last October, I learned about and experienced an exercise in the U-Theory developed by Otto Scharmer. It’s difficult to explain the U-Theory as it is largely experiential; however, it is defined “firstly as a framework, secondly as a method for leading profound change, and thirdly as a way of being – connecting to the more authentic or higher aspects of our self.”
February took me on an accreditation visit to a school that had a profound impact upon me. This school was founded in 1923 by a nun and aims to educate the hearts and minds of its students. I love this, and what is most impressive is that its mission has not changed in almost 100 years. In one conversation with one of the Sisters in which I was complimenting the mission, she stated so simply that, “Peace begins in schools.”
Peace begins in schools.
These words return to me often and as an educator, I think we have a profound responsibility in this age of disparity to educate our students for a more peaceful and compassionate world.
In the spring, a wonderful mentor and leader David Chojnacki, introduced me to the Charter for Compassion, a belief in a compassionate and peaceful world, and I immediately joined the movement. After engaging in one of their online calls, I was invited to host a Charter Salon, or what I am terming a Peace Salon, a salon that hopes to “open up the door to new ideas, new approaches for our efforts to bring about a peaceful world by fostering a compassionate world.” I love this idea of coming together to explore ideas on peace. While I will host a salon in person, I’m also curious about what ideas we have in this digital space.
- What actions can we take in our lives to foster more peace and compassion?
- If peace begins in schools, how do we ensure we are meeting this worthy mission?
- What does education for peace look like?
- What ideas does this inspire?
As I reflect upon what became a year of inspiration, I attribute it to the U-Theory. Once I became attuned to “what wanted to happen” I encountered the experiences I needed to affirm a passion, one that I will continue to strive towards as I allow the future to emerge,