Peace through the eyes of children

The following artwork was created during College Mennonite Church Bible School by children who went on to become GC alumni. They were illustrating what peace meant to them. Thanks to Professor Emerita of Education Kathryn Aschliman for connecting us with them. They were included in her 1993 book Growing Toward Peace, along with many others. The alums were then contacted to find out what they are doing today and how they view peace today.

Eric Harley ’97

Researcher at IBM Lagrangeville, N.Y.
Artwork from second grade

What peace means to him today:
“I think of peace right now on a much smaller scale than I used to. Most of the time peace is not about global conflict resolution but about family dynamics. It’s about all of us treating each other with kindness, love and selflessness.”

Lisa Koop ’99

Immigration attorney Chicago, Ill.

Artwork from age 6

What peace means to her today:
“Peace is sending a client a closing letter after we’ve won her case. Peace is lights from the El train reflecting off the Chicago River. Peace is my daughter sleeping.”

Bryan Falcón ’95

Co-founder of the Web-based software Haiku Learning Systems Tucson, Ariz.

Artwork from age 9

What peace means to him today:

“Over the years, my understanding of peace has become disconcertingly nuanced – achieving peace appears to require a balance of empathy, mutual respect and shared quality of life. Peace, to me, seems to be an inherently unstable state of human relations, thus we will always struggle to achieve peace. I firmly believe that if we do not work together to live simple, sustainable, community-supported lives, then peace will continually elude us.”

Jeremy Garber ’96

Ph.D. candidate at the University of Denver (Colo.) and the Iliff School of Theology, concentrating in philosophy, theology and cultural theory.

Artwork from age 9

What peace means to him today:
“As I study theology and culture more and more, I am convinced that peace is a conversation – that it is in the complicated work of me talking to you, or to a piece of art, or to a holy scripture, and trying to understand it on its own terms, that we come to understand the other through the Holy Spirit and so to love them as God loves us. I still stand by that statement I  made when I was 9 – I just have a few more details now.”

Erica Friesen ’98

Costume Shop Manager for The University of Chicago’s professional theater in residence.

Artwork from age 8

What peace means to her today:
“Peace is a quiet night with a big moon and a starry sky. It is the knowledge that the sun will rise and I will see my son’s effervescent smile and hear my husband’s deep voice whisper, “good morning.” It is the ability to go about our day much as we did the day before without fear, full of love and the chance to dream.”

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