International Puppets for Peace Day Sept. 29Posted by Suzanne, on September 19th, 2009

Today is a beautiful blue sky and sun day. People are out walking dogs and children in strollers. It is hard to believe a year ago there was a very strong peace movement all over the country. Even though there is a return to the every day in our lives, the call to peace is still urgent.

The call to peace in the world will always be urgent. The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn writes in his book, ‘Creating Peace’, that we need to develop a ‘mindfulness’ of peace in our speech, our gesture, and our inner compassion. He says that by creating peace in small ways in our daily lives we are building peace in the world.

As I read this book I thought, this is what we are doing when we offer a puppet show! I see how we all can contribute to the healing of the world ether by our consciousness growing in how we live ‘peace’ in our daily lives. International Puppets for Peace Day is Sept. 29. I urge you all to present a puppet show that day and add to the transforming of world energy through joining our communal world-wide efforts. Please check in with me on what story you are performing, what venue large or small, and how it was received.

Here are two wonderful websites for those of you interested in puppetry for social and world change. www.healingstoryalliance.com – printable stories for children in crisis.
www.internationalstorytellingcenter.com – storytelling for peace section with printable stories and other resources.

Here is a sample story printable from the international storytelling center’s website by Margaret Read MacDonald’s book ‘Peace Stories’. We thank Margaret with gratitude, and the storytelling center’s support of peace in the world through the offering of many peace stories I chose this story for a new project with high school age students and colored shadow puppetry.

It is another great story to raise awareness of justice, peace, and personal responsibility for the world. A character building story. Not our Problem: A Tale from Burma and Thailand Retold by Margaret Read MacDonald The King sat with his Advisor eating honey on puffed rice. As they ate they leaned from the palace window and watched the street below. They talked of this and that. The King, not paying attention to what he was doing, let a drop of honey fall onto the windowsill. ‘Oh sire, let me wipe that up,’ offered the Advisor. ‘Never mind,” said the King. ‘It is not our problem. The servants will clean it later.’

As the two continued to dine on their honey and puffed rice, the drop of honey slowly began to drip down the windowsill. At last it fell with a plop onto the street below. Soon a fly had landed on the drop of honey and begun his own meal. Immediately a gecko sprang from under the palace and with a flip Of his tongue swallowed the fly. But a cat had seen the gecko and pounced. Then a dog sprang forward and attacked the cat! ‘Sire, there seems to be a cat and dog fight in the street. Should we call someone to stop it?’ ‘Never mind,’ said the King. ‘It’s not our problem.’ So the two continued to munch their honey and puffed rice.

Meanwhile the cat’s owner had arrived and was beating the dog. The dog’s owner ran up and began to beat the cat. Soon the two were beating each other. ‘Sire, there are two persons fighting in the street now. Shouldn’t we send someone to break this up?’ The king lazily looked from the window. ‘Never mind. It’s not our problem.’ The friends of the cat’s owner gathered and began to cheer him on. The friends of the dog’s owner began to cheer her on as well.

Soon both groups entered the fight and attacked each other.’Sire, a number of people are fighting in the street now. Perhaps we should call someone to break this up.’ The King was too lazy even to look. You can guess what he said. ‘Never mind. It’s not our problem’. Now soldiers arrived on the scene. At first they tried to break up the fighting. But when they heard the cause of the fight Some sided with the cat’s owner. Others sided with the dog’s owner. Soon the soldiers too had joined the fight.

With the soldiers involved, the fight erupted into civil war.
Houses were burned down.
People were harmed.
And the palace itself was set afire and burned to the ground.
The King and his Advisor stood surveying the ruins.
‘Perhaps,’ said the King, ‘I was wrong? Perhaps the drop of honey WAS our problem.

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