The Peace Pledge
A Peace Kids Adventure

by Robert Alan Silverstein
Illustrated by Ginger Nielson

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"The weekly meeting of the Peace Kids Club is now called to order!" Ahmed typed on his laptop. In their own homes all across the planet, the Peace Kids tapped in the Peace Kids Club worldwide web address onto their computers, pressed ENTER, and suddenly appeared together in Cyberspace.

After the Peace Kids had finished hugging each other, they noticed a new kid standing next to Sunanda, staring anxiously at the empty void with his mouth hanging open.

"It's okay," Sunanda whispered reassuringly. "The Peace Kids Club controls only let us visit Peace-Friendly sites in Cyberspace. We're perfectly safe here."

Pierre wasn't totally convinced. But he loosened his grip on Sunanda's hand, just a little. "Everyone, this is my friend, Pierre, from France," Sunanda said to the group. "Pierre has something exciting to share called the Appeal of the Nobel Laureates."

"Hi Pierre!" the kids said together.

"Nobel what?" Sol asked.

"Nobel Laureates are the people who've won Nobel Prizes!" Ling exclaimed.

"Like Desmond Tutu!" Jamal pointed out.

"And Mother Teresa," Erin added.

"Right," Pierre said. "Before Mother Teresa died, she and all of the other Peace Prize winners signed a special appeal that us Kids can help spread around the world..."

"Wow!" the Kids said together. They loved getting involved in important peace-activities, and this sounded like it was a BIG one.

"We all know how hard it can be sometimes to have 'Peace' ..." Pierre began. "There are ALWAYS going to be conflicts..."

"CONFLICTS HAPPEN!" Johnny sighed.

"It's how we deal with those conflicts that matters..." Sunanda pointed out.

"Exactly!" Pierre said.

"We can fight and argue ... with neither side listening to the other," Maya began.

"Or we can really try to find a solution so that both sides can win," Michiko piped in.

"A win-win solution!" José exclaimed.

"Absolutely!" Pierre said. "There are 'tools' that we can learn to use to be more peaceful, so that we don't let our emotions make us say and do things that get us into trouble."

"We can learn conflict resolution..." said Ling.

"And peer mediation..." Ahmed added.

"And listening, dialogue, and negotiation are important skills to learn for conflict resolution and peer mediation..." Erin said.

"Yes!" Pierre continued. "Education is the key to changing our world into a culture of peace. That's why all of the Nobel Peace Prize winners signed an appeal asking the world's leaders to dedicate the New Millennium to help educate kids with tools for peace and nonviolence."

"The New Millennium sure hasn't started off on the right foot, so far!" Jamal sighed.

"Yeah, we need all the peace we can get!" all the kids agreed.

"Kids are the future, and if we grow up knowing how to work out our problems peacefully, we'll find peaceful ways to deal with the grown-up world, too." Pierre continued.

"And meanwhile, the grown-ups will change while we're learning to be peaceful, too," Ling pointed out.

"Yes, we'll help teach them!" Ahmed said, looking up from his laptop. As the club secretary he was typing as fast as he could to take good notes.

"We'll all learn together!" Maya declared.

Pierre continued explaining, "So the Appeal of the Nobel Laureates joined forces with UNESCO..."

"That's part of the UN, right?" Michiko asked.

"Yes, it's the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which has its headquarters in Paris..." Erin explained.

"That's right," Pierre said, "UNESCO ... Hey, what's happening?!" He grabbed onto Sunanda's arm as the Peace Kids suddenly found they were standing in front of a big building.

"We're at UNESCO's website," Ahmed announced as he finished tapping on his computer. He stuck it on standby, shoved it into its case and draped the strap over his shoulder. "Come on!" he laughed. The kids strolled together down the tree-lined street towards the UNESCO building at 7, place de Fontenoy in Paris, France.

The Peace Kids toured the building and then sat down together at a cafe down the street from UNESCO headquarters. "UNESCO," Pierre sighed happily, and while the kids munched on croissants he continued the story he had begun before they had visited the UNESCO site.

"Together the Appeal of the Nobel Laureates and UNESCO convinced the United Nations to declare the first decade of the 21st century as the 'International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World'..."

"That's a mouthful!" Ling laughed.

"But it's a great mouthful!" the Kids chimed in together.

Pierre laughed with the kids. Then he continued. "They worked hard to have the Appeal signed by 100 million people all around the world for the year 2000. They presented these signatures to the United Nations during a special Millennium Assembly in September 2000..."

Pierre lifted his croissant up to his mouth, took a bite, and then almost started choking. The cafe and the street leading to UNESCO Headquarters were starting to fade away. His eyes widened as they suddenly found themselves sitting up in the balcony of the General Assembly Hall at the United Nations.

A guard was leaning over the chair in front of them with a wastebasket held in his hand. "You kids can't eat in here!" he whispered motioning for them to deposit their food in the wastebasket. Each of the kids stuck the rest of their croissants into their mouths and held up their empty hands innocently. The guard rolled his eyes and checked the badges the kids had pinned to their shirts. He rolled his eyes yet again as he walked away with the empty waste-basket.

Pierre looked down at the Badges that had somehow appeared on his shirt. "Millennium Assembly Pass" it said.

"Wow, we're back in the year 2000 at the Millennium Assembly!" Pierre laughed as he jumped up from his chair. He had completely adjusted to cyber-traveling and he was thoroughly enjoying himself now.

"Hey, wasn't that the President of the United States in the year 2000?!" Johnny gasped, pointing down below.

"And that was my Prime Minister back in 2000!" Sol exclaimed.

Each of the Peace Kids pointed out their country's leader sitting attentively below.

"Yes, the Millennium Assembly brought the most Heads of State together in one place, ever!" Pierre told them.

They watched as the Appeal of the Nobel Laureates was presented to the Assembly along with bags and bags of signed pledges.

The great hall of the General Assembly started to fade and the Peace Kids found themselves back in cyberspace again.

"Wow, with 100 million signatures, you would think it would have shown the leaders of the world that the PEOPLE want PEACE and KINDNESS!" José exclaimed.

"Unfortunately the world's leaders haven't listened, yet," Pierre sighed. "But millions of people all around the world are trying in little and big ways to make this world a better place. And young people like me are using a kid's version of the Appeal - called the Peace Pledge - to help kids stand up and say they want a more peaceful world."

The Kids were all eager to read the Peace Pledge so they could sign it, too.

"We can get kids to sign this for the International Day of Peace on September 21," Michiko exclaimed.

"And on October 24 on United Nations Day!" Ahmed added.

"And Earth Day!" Maya pointed out.

"All of those dates are wonderful times to hold campaigns to get kids to sign the Peace Pledge. But even more important than signing it and spreading it, is living it," Pierre reminded them. "Every kind thing that we do helps the world to be more peaceful. We can find lots of little ways to put this pledge into action..."

"In our daily lives, you mean..." Johnny said, "like how we talk and act with our families, our friends, our classmates, and with our neighbors ..."

"And stopping to think about how our actions affect others and the environment," Ling added.

Suddenly the Peace Kids were floating in front of a giant scroll. They swam closer to have a better look and started to read the Peace Pledge together...

"I pledge in my daily life, in my family, my school, my community & my country to:

1. Be Kind - I pledge to respect people that are different, and treat people and animals with kindness and fairness.

2. Reject violence - I pledge to find peaceful ways to work out my problems without using violent actions or words.

3. Share with others - I pledge to share my time to help out in my community to make life better for others.

4. Listen to understand. I pledge to allow others to express their point of view; to find win-win solutions to problems so that both sides can win; and 'agreeing to disagree' if we can't come to an agreement.

5. Preserve the planet - I pledge to practice good environmental habits like recycling and helping to protect the earth and its habitats.

6. Rediscover community - I pledge to do my best to help my family, friends and community to get along.

Just as they finished reading, they heard Ahmed's laptop beeping -- the batteries were running out.

Pierre sighed. "Is it time to go home already?"

"But you can join us again next week for the next meeting," the Peace Kids assured him.

Before they adjourned the meeting, the Peace Kids all agreed that when they got home they would try to get their schools to sign the Peace Pledge.

"We'll get our churches and synagogues and mosques to sign it..."

"We'll get grocery stores and department stores to include flyers in every bag for their customers..."

"We'll write Letters To The Editor of our newspapers urging our communities to sign the Pledge..."

"We'll write our Mayors and Governors and ask them to declare Proclamations urging all citizens to participate..."

"We'll convince our communities to stop what they're doing each day at 12 Noon and join in the universal wish: MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH! "

But most importantly, the Peace Kids decided to try to find one kind thing each day that they could do to make their daily lives more peaceful.

Then, in the twinkling of an eye, the Peace Kids were all back in their own homes.

"Thanks for inviting me to join your Peace Kids Club," each of the Peace Kids saw on their computer screens as Pierre typed from his home in Paris.

"May Peace Prevail On Earth," each of the Peace Kids typed with a smile, and the adventure was officially adjourned. Until the next cyber-meeting of the Peace Kids Club, of course.

The Peace Pledge
A Peace Kids Adventure

Story © 1996-2013 Robert Alan Silverstein
© 2004 Ginger Nielson

Peace Day: (Plus: The Peace Pledge) 2 Peace Kids Adventures
by Robert Alan Silverstein
Avstar Publishing (2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1492321453


99 cent Kindle edition