The violence, hatred and destruction that convulse our world and Country today appear very impressive and unstoppable. But no matter how shocking and powerful it may appear, it is no match for the power of love. Love is our real default – it’s what we all long for, gravitate to and throughout history always come back to. The solution to the problems of our world begin with one individual, one family, one community saying “no” to violence, hatred, anger, and living the love that protects, comforts, guards and guides. Our Montessori community is a daily work in progress, proving that children and adults from all faith traditions, including Muslim, Judaic, Christian, and those of no religion can live together in happiness and great joy!
Some years ago we received the following email story from Ed Carilli – one of the original members of our Love of Learning Montessori family - that he read in Reader's Digest:
Under a cultural exchange program, my family was host to a rabbi from Russia at Christmas time. We decided to introduce him to a culinary treat that was probably not available in his country: we took him to our favorite Chinese restaurant.
Throughout the meal, the rabbi spoke excitedly about the wonders of our country in comparison to the bleak conditions in his homeland. When we finished eating, the waiter brought the check and presented each of us with a small brass Christmas tree ornament as a seasonal gift.
We all laughed when my father pointed out that the ornaments were stamped “Made in India.” But the laughter subsided when we saw that the rabbi was quietly crying. Concerned, my father asked him if he was offended because he’d been given a gift for a Christian Holiday.
He smiled, shook his head and said, “Nyet. I was shedding tears of joy to be in a wonderful country in which a Buddhist gives a Jew a Christmas gift made by a Hindu!” (from Readers Digest)
Working with children in Europe during the terrible times of the first half of the 20th Century, Maria Montessori got a vision of peace for the world. The life force that brings us all together is always active. Loving answers are available to every situation we find ourselves in. She had been given a seemingly impossible task – educating and civilizing a group of children who were destroying their apartment complex while their parents were at work in the San Lorenzo District of Rome, Italy. By observing the children and giving them activities that addressed their needs they were transformed and became the foundation of her educational method, which she characterized as …”an aid to life.”
As the little story shared above illustrates, gradually the deep divisions in the affairs of mankind are eroding away. Opportunities to divide, separate, be angry with one another, present themselves at every turn in the road, especially when it comes to dealing with children. As the stories from the various religious traditions – Muslim, Judaic, Christian, illustrate, there is always a way out, there is always a loving solution that brings us together, life goes on and prospers.
We wish you all the best in your family’s adventure of finding the loving solutions that keep you happy and together at this joyous time of the year.