“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” ~Mark Twain: The Innocents Abroad
This statement published by Mark Twain in 1869 becomes truer as the years go on. With access to the internet becoming a household necessity, people are beginning to find that the world is becoming a smaller and smaller place. By this we mean, it is now so much easier to just connect instantly with anyone from anywhere in the world. And the younger generations will find this to be even more accurate. With awareness of our world and other countries and societies becoming more main stream knowledge for younger kids, we find ourselves presented with an excellent opportunity. Specifically, an opportunity to introduce children to the idea of politics and world peace.
Now, most people can’t imagine a child being involved with politics just as much as they can’t see them standing at the pulpit in a church. However, kids have a much higher capacity for understanding than many people give them credit for. The World Peace Foundation recognized children’s potential, and set out to educate them using a system called the World Peace Game. This game was developed almost twenty years ago and is a political simulation which takes up an entire classroom and typically involves the participation of at least twenty-five students. The game starts with each child, who has been chosen to represent a particular country, inheriting some form of conflict upon their country be it economic, political, resource related, and so on. The idea is that each child must then use their thinking skills and imagination to work out this problem in a peaceful way.
Not only does this game challenge kid’s minds to come up with ways to solve their country’s problems, but it also expands their view of the world they live in. It helps give them an idea of some of the real problems which are going on today while giving them the power to come up with solutions. One student quoted saying, “One thing about this game is that you learn other people matter. A single person can’t win, all people must win.”
This game teaches cooperation, generosity, and instills the mindset that by working together, anything can be possible. The World Peace Game Foundation strives to spread this message far and wide, bringing the game to as many schools as possible. They believe that this game can broaden children’s minds and give them tangible goals outside of the age old norms of doctors or policemen, and to that of great politicians and world leaders.