By Chris Durbin, Associate Director of School Support & Evaluation
Whenever a war breaks out in the world, I take on a feeling of helplessness and sheer incredulity that in 2022, we can't learn from lessons of the past.
I speak as someone who was deprived of the love of either grandfather who both died very young because of war.
Should we honour them? Yes, of course, we should, but we should also recognise that there is a need to do everything we can to not blame the sins of the fathers/leaders on people just because they are associated with the perpetrators of war.
Should we do everything we can to avoid war? Of course, we should.
Not everyone agrees, but in my view, there are only losers from war. Whatever happens on the battlefield, there is loss of life and love and the loss of our humanity.
We need to continue to educate that differences in peoples across the world is actually a wonderful thing—otherness should not be the enemy, otherness should be our friend and otherness should be our educator.
Otherness is also the basis on which powerful people incite hatred and create a climate to make war and political ambitions legitimate.
If you are an international educator, you know that in your class you may have two countries represented that were in conflicts of the past and the present.
Those students are often torn between their own identity and their own nationality.
They can be torn between people that they love and/or respect having polarised views.
What appears to be distant war comes right into your classroom and into the corridors.
Values clarification is vital in this climate and role modelling behaviours so that students see that the well-being of all students is what drives us whatever our own views of the rights and wrongs of each side.
The adage that 'an eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind ...' remains a central message to all across the world.
At some point today, there will be the loss of loved ones, Russian, Ukrainian, and whoever else finds themselves in conflict over otherness.
Let's all do our bit today to reach out to someone across otherness to show that the world does not have to be tribal and territorial.
- Diversity (I-DEA)
- Student well-being