Lombardi editorial: "Education and peace"

2011-12-31 Vatican Radio

“Educating young people in justice and peace”: this is the Pope’s Message for the World Day of Peace, on 1 January. So far it hasn’t had the echo it deserves. But it happens, from time to time, that that the most important things are not always the ones that are most talked about. In reality, if young people today are not educated in peace, tomorrow there certainly will be no peace.

On the occasion of the great changes that started in North Africa and the Middle East, or even in the movements of the indignados which have travelled over western countries – from Spain to England and the United States, and elsewhere – attentiveness has often been given to young people, to their frustrations and their expectations, to their way of communicating and expressing them. What will be the outcome, beyond the brief period in which they will have covered the front pages of the media? It mostly depends on education, otherwise today’s frustrations will inevitably continue tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and into the future.

“Education is the most interesting and difficult adventure in life” the Pope said. And we are all involved. The Pope’s message isn’t limited to encouraging or exalting an active role in young people. It makes us understand that its foundations come from the responsible service of educators, who are not only parents and teachers, but also politicians and media operators: in short, all those who can and must convey guidance towards those values on which a just and peaceful society is built, and help those steps of cultural growth and social insertion that come close to this target. If those values are destroyed by relativism and by an exaltation of arbitrary freedom, if they are not proposed with concrete testimonials of honesty, commitment and solidarity – let us also say, of love - … then tomorrow there will be neither justice nor peace. If we want the world’s tomorrow to be brighter, we need to face the “educational emergencies” of today with firm conviction.