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This week we start a brand-new set of stories around the theme “How to be a Peacemaker.” In the current covid-19 lock down situation we thought it might be fun to explore different ideas about how to become effective peacemakers within our homes and families. The first story comes from the Humanist worldview and looks at the value of collaboration and working together to find solutions.

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How can we be peacemakers? – HUMANISM
Humanists recognise that conflict - an argument between you and a friend, or a war between countries - is often started by humans and can best be ended by humans. This is why people across the world have worked to build peace together. But how can we be peacemakers?

This story tells us about a disagreement in a village where some of the hunters had not behaved in a way the other villagers had hoped. It describes how we all need to take responsibility for being peacemakers together. It is a story that has been written especially for the Story Tent project.

The Hunters and the Pelts

The hunters returned home after a long winter away with new fur skins for themselves, but little to give to the rest of the village. The villagers were angry. “How could this be?” cried one. Another shouted “You must have taken it all for yourselves?” Soon conflict between the two groups had broken out and the peace and harmony that had existed quickly vanished.
Upset by the sudden disturbance, a young hunter sought out the village Elder’s wisdom, who had yet to intervene. “Our new fur skins kept us alive, even though the winter was long and hard. We saw few animals and nearly didn’t make it back ourselves.” He paused and then continued “Can they not see we tried our best? Do our lives not mean more than a little extra food?” The village Elder remained quiet and the young hunter left in disappointment.
Over the days and weeks that followed and, while fighting and quarrelling continued around him, he thought and he thought.  Why hadn’t the village Elder helped? Why were the villagers so unfair and unable to understand what had happened during the hunt?
Then one night he awoke and realised: it was not up to the village Elder to create peace, but rather each individual was responsible for seeking unity and respect in the village. Peace and harmony needed to start within each individual human heart. He spread this message far and wide, and soon the tired and isolated villagers began to listen. At last they realised that they must embrace their differences, and not let them turn into conflicts. By working together, they could bring peace to their village.
Follow up questions:
  1. What caused the disagreement in the village?
  2. Can you describe why both sides were upset?
  3. What did the young hunter do to help facilitate peace-making?
  4. How can you be peacemakers in your own lives?
To access this story in pdf format please click on the link below:
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