A Holistic Picture of Peacemakers

Elise Boulding

Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Dartmouth College and Former Secretary General of the International Peace Research Association

Interviewed by Julian Portilla, 2003

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).

A: Always remember that there are two groups that maybe won't be called upon in ways they could be. One is women, and the other is children and young people.

I have learned so much over the years about children and young people's creativity in problem solving, things that they have picked up in their own ways. I was thrilled a few months ago, when a colleague of mine conducted a Peace Day in Hartford, Connecticut. More than half of the people there were school-age children or college students. Normally, gatherings like that are mostly adults. The whole thing had been created by a planning committee, in which David Adams of the Culture of Peace Program at UNESCO had been the advisor for the planner. He had said, "Make sure to get young people on the planning committee," and that is what made the difference. So always remember that if you don't have all generations present — and especially remember women and children — in any situation that you are working for, then important participants are missing. Also, I would say that the role of music and the arts is beginning to creep in all over the place. Peace poets, peace musicians, and so on. These are all reminders of what the human spirit needs. Anything that has to do with peacemaking needs that. Also, have fun. Give a chance for play life and recreation. If we just get totally serious, it gets too heavy.