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From the Teacher’s Desk

It's hard to believe that, as I write this, we're already into the third week of January. What's the saying? Time flies when you're having fun. Hopefully, you're having fun pursuing the goals you set for yourself for 2012.

Speaking of goals, in my last blog post before Christmas I stated one of my main goals for this year. It reads something like this - to discover new ways to be a better teacher, and to read more, write more, listen more, and learn more.

Very early in January, while waiting for a medical appointment in St. John's, I added three more goals to my list. Those three additions are generally related to my writing goals.

On the subject of goal setting, there's a statement by Jim Rohn that really clarifies the need for this practice.

He said: "The ultimate reason for setting goals is to entice you to become the person it takes to achieve them."

It's not so much the goals we set, but the strength of character we can develop in their pursuit.

Have you ever contemplated a goal that is so outrageously powerful that, through its fulfillment, it could change the world as we know it? Wouldn't it be really exciting if you somehow developed a vision - a purpose in life whereby, through your efforts and the help of people you could enlist to your cause, you made a significant contribution for the benefit of mankind. Wouldn't something like that cause you to bolt out of bed in the morning eager to get on with the task?

Well that's how I feel about a goal I've been pondering for quite some time. It's a goal - a dream - that really excites my imagination. My goal is to help bring about peace in the world.

Do you remember the song by Cat Stevens called ‘Peace Train'? It was very popular when people of my generation were in our teens (yes, I know, that's a long time ago!) That song really resonated with me at the time and still does so today.

The lyrics of this beautiful song contain a dichotomy between the singer's good feelings about the world - "I've been smiling lately dreaming about the world as one" - and the artist's sad feelings about the world - "I've been crying lately thinking about the world as it is."

Haven't you had similar feelings at one time or another? There's a lot of strife in the world, but there are also signs of hope witnessed by the many humanitarian efforts toward noble causes like ending world poverty.

As an educator and a believer that world peace is possible, I think education is the catalyst to keep the peace train rolling. In the prologue to my book, ‘A Manual for Peace' (available on by the end of January), I said: "Education leads to understanding and understanding leads to tolerance. What our world so desperately needs is an abundance of tolerance and respect."

Last fall I read a great book by Andy Andrews called ‘The Final Summit'. In this book, an older man is taken up to heaven by the archangel Gabriel. While in heaven, he meets with a number of great leaders like Abe Lincoln, Winston Churchill and Joan of Arc, in an effort to come up with a method, or principle, to save humanity. Each of the principles the leaders discuss can be summed up in just two words. If you have yet to read the book, I think you'll be inspired when you do read it by the final principle on which they agree.

On the topic of world peace, Mohandas Gandhi once said: "There is no way to peace, peace is the way." Our individual efforts on the way to peace can collectively make a difference.

I hope that the messages contained in my own book will be a spark of inspiration for my readers so that their belief in universal peace will be ignited or reignited.

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