I wrote last about using early childhood education programs to address the problems of mass violence in our nation. I KNOW IT FEELS AS IF THAT WILL TAKE SO, SO LONG. Thankfully, a short while later I saw an interview with Coretta Scott King by Tavis Smiley, originally taped in 2005. If you want to watch it–and please let me encourage you to do so:
Go to www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/interviews/civil-rights-activist-coretta-scott-king/ and both watch the YouTube and read the transcript.
What thunderstruck me were Coretta Scott King’s words. “…the process of nonviolence is one that takes time and those of us who’ve suffered, who’ve been persecuted over the years, would like to see things change, you know, overnight. And Martin used to say, ‘I’d like for it to come in the morning’, you know.
But the fact is that there is a process that you have to follow. If you can imagine, you can visualize a situation where young children learn this philosophy at an early age [as] they go through school.
“…my vision for the King Center was to start with preschool kids and we did, teaching them at that level Kingian philosophy and nonviolence at their level, and [took] them through elementary school. We developed curriculum materials for elementary, secondary school and high school and then college. We had a program for college students.
Once they get to that stage and they have careers of their own, they are bound to be different kind of people because they’ll have a different value system.”
I stared at the television screen open-mouthed.
Holy goodness, that’s what I was saying too. I felt a little hesitant about advancing my big theory on preventing mass murders by starting in kindergarten, especially when the country’s experts weren’t saying anything about it…but you don’t get much more of an affirmation than Coretta Scott King.
Please let me encourage you to go and visit that link. And talk to me about this. I want this idea to get legs, as they say, and go somewhere. Please help spread the thinking.