[A version of this was previously posted during the Holiday Season on my campus blog as The Desire to Learn Knows No Boundaries, I felt that it would be appropriate to re-post it today in light of recent events.]

In his book, God Has A Dream, Desmond Tutu writes:

“I have a dream,” God says. “Please help Me realize it. It is a dream of a world whose ugliness and squalor and poverty, its war and hostility, its greed and harsh competitiveness, its alienation and disharmony are changed into their counterparts, when there will be more laughter, joy, and peace, where there will be justice and goodness and compassion and love and caring and sharing. I have a dream that swords will be beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks, that My children will know that they are members of one family, the human family…”

This time of year we hear the words Peace on Earth. Yet, the daily news continues to fill our eyes with pictures of war, our ears with words of hatred and conflict, and our minds with doubts that mankind will ever be able to live in harmony.

Nonetheless, I remain convinced that Peace is possible. This conviction is based on daily observations of students from around the world who sit together in our Newcomer Academy and work cooperatively to study and learn. 

Since we began the Newcomer Academy a few years ago, we have had students from 24 nations attend school here at Shannon.  Currently, we have students from 9 different countries in attendance: Egypt, El Salvador, Guatamala, Honduras, Laos, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea, and Viet Nam.

One of our sayings here at Shannon is: “The desire to learn knows no boundaries”. I prefer to read that statement and think that the boundaries it refers to include economic, political, religious, and racial restrictions. I continue to believe that it will ultimately be through education that the elimination of ignorance will occur and Peace will become reality and all arbitrary boundaries will be erased.

I’ve seen it here at Shannon. To watch students from Israel and Jordan work together to complete an assignment is to see tangible proof that a common task draws us together.

I’ve heard it here at Shannon. One day students at a Thanksgiving meal stood hand-in-hand and gave brief words of gratitude in Spanish, Hebrew, Hindi, Farsi, and Korean.

This is why I appreciate Dr. Tutu’s words. My heart tells me God’s “plan” for Peace is possible because I continue to see it, hear it, and feel it as I spend time with young people at school. I continue to believe that it will be through education that we will someday experience Peace.

God Bless the Teachers and Students of the World.