"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius -- and a lot of courage -- to move in the opposite direction."
In this past year, YALA Peace came into existence. And with a touch of genius and a lot of courage, they made the connections between each other closer, easier, and more peaceful.
They expanded their worlds while making the world a smaller, more connected place. They moved to that fantastic spontaneous music of the heart: they moved themselves and me.
They moved in the opposite direction.
One of the last times I guided the YALA stars as they mentored younger children in an arts workshop, they painted on photos and magazine pictures. They created multi-dimensional collages with oil pastels on photographs. They let the existing pictures spark their imagination, and then filled in what was missing: they invented what didn't exist yet in the spaces that opened up.
Spaces always open when you look for them with intention. With this comes the power of awareness that we are all creators. The expressive freedom young people are known for is so powerful. People often ask me how 13 year olds can really make a change in their communities. Einstein also said, "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen." Armed with imagination and open spaces, the YALA Peace girls are creatively filling in the areas that are yet to be drawn.
Young Artistic Leaders Association for Peace.
They are creators, artists, and leaders, all the while working for peace. Yes, the conflict in this region is massive. But as everyone makes things bigger, more complex, and more violent, we can also take a closer look at the gaps in between. Make the holes bigger with doubt: question and open ourselves. Fill the spaces in a new way, cross the gaps, cross the bridges to the others.