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DIVERSE VIEWS ARE MET IN A SHARED CONCERN

Feb. 25, 2004 – A couple of dozen people from many walks of St. Croix life took on the challenge on Wednesday night of discussing what the obstacles are to peace in their community, and how those obstacles might be overcome.
The forum was the 2nd annual round-table discussion of "Peace and Fellowship for Our Time, Our Community" hosted by Rotary Club of St. Croix and the Interact Club of Good Hope School. Interact Clubs are high school service organizations sponsored by Rotary Clubs worldwide.
According to David Beck, Rotary Club of St. Croix president, the idea of the round-table discussions is to open dialogue with a panel and an audience of diverse faiths and backgrounds. "Individuals who feel they have no influence on societal problems can find commonality with people whom they would not normally dialogue with," he said.
With 12 members on Wednesday night's panel and just about that many people in the audience at the Good Hope School theater, the discussion was intimate and informative. Interaction between youths and community leaders including faith-based panelists delved into topics of parenting, schooling, community involvement and race relations.
A main theme was how the standards of the Rotary Four-Way Test can be used to foster peace and fellowship on St. Croix. The test is a guide Rotarians use to evaluate the "things we think, say or do." It consists of four questions:
– It is the truth?
– Is it fair to all concerned?
– Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
– Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Panelists offered varying opinions on the practicality of the guidelines. Matthew Ridgway, a Country Day senior, said they amount to more than a motto or a saying. "We need to find peaceful ways to solve a problem," he said. "We need to apply the teachings of Gandhi and Mother Teresa to the problems of today."
Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards said "the truth" is often relative. "We can aim to do it; we need to come back to the Golden Rule," she said.
Panelists and audience members examined possible causes of violence in the schools and exchanged ideas on possible solutions that might be applied in the home and within the educational system. A question was: Can the Rotary principles be realistically applied in the home and at school?
Chenzira D. Kahina, co-director of the community-based faith group Per Ankh and a former educator, said the approach to teaching needs to be adjusted. "There needs to be a revision of how we view young learners," she said. "We need to incorporate civics and ethics in the schools."
Kahina believes teachers need to consider their students' needs. Learning needs to be "child centered but elder ruled," she said, suggesting that teachers explore different ways of getting their message across. "Relationships between students and teachers make a difference," she said.
Katheryn Kazakwic, a Good Hope senior, shared that view. "Children with problems will confide in teachers if the bond is there," she said.
Rotarian and businessman Lloyd Daniels emphasized the importance of quality time. "The economy has deteriorated our society," he said, citing the need for the parents in households to work long hours. "Parents pack their children off at 6 a.m. and don't see them again until 6 p.m.," he said. "We are out of touch with our children."
He suggested that to help keep the lines of communication open, parents take their youngsters with them whenever possible. "Spend time with your children — take them with you to the grocery store; take them everywhere you go."
Some panelists put the blame on television and on society as a whole for the absence of peace.
"Violence stems from TV," Kendall Seigo Petersen, vice president of St. Croix Farmers in Action, said. "Technology has taken over the raising of the children."
Richards said: "The problem is more than violence in the schools. Youngsters are mimicking the behavior of our community."
Other panelists were Rotarian/business owner Joe Jaber, Rotarian/Baha'i member Richard Bork, Rotarian/historian George Seaman, and high school students Jenisha John of Education Complex and Ryan Caines of Good Hope.
There are four Rotary Clubs on the island: Rotary West, Rotary Mid-Isle, Rotary Harborside and Rotary Club of St. Croix. All offer presentations on the Four-Way Test to schools and other community groups. For more information call 771-4420 or send an e-mail to Rotary.

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Feb. 25, 2004 - A couple of dozen people from many walks of St. Croix life took on the challenge on Wednesday night of discussing what the obstacles are to peace in their community, and how those obstacles might be overcome.
The forum was the 2nd annual round-table discussion of "Peace and Fellowship for Our Time, Our Community" hosted by Rotary Club of St. Croix and the Interact Club of Good Hope School. Interact Clubs are high school service organizations sponsored by Rotary Clubs worldwide.
According to David Beck, Rotary Club of St. Croix president, the idea of the round-table discussions is to open dialogue with a panel and an audience of diverse faiths and backgrounds. "Individuals who feel they have no influence on societal problems can find commonality with people whom they would not normally dialogue with," he said.
With 12 members on Wednesday night's panel and just about that many people in the audience at the Good Hope School theater, the discussion was intimate and informative. Interaction between youths and community leaders including faith-based panelists delved into topics of parenting, schooling, community involvement and race relations.
A main theme was how the standards of the Rotary Four-Way Test can be used to foster peace and fellowship on St. Croix. The test is a guide Rotarians use to evaluate the "things we think, say or do." It consists of four questions:
- It is the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Panelists offered varying opinions on the practicality of the guidelines. Matthew Ridgway, a Country Day senior, said they amount to more than a motto or a saying. "We need to find peaceful ways to solve a problem," he said. "We need to apply the teachings of Gandhi and Mother Teresa to the problems of today."
Tourism Commissioner Pamela Richards said "the truth" is often relative. "We can aim to do it; we need to come back to the Golden Rule," she said.
Panelists and audience members examined possible causes of violence in the schools and exchanged ideas on possible solutions that might be applied in the home and within the educational system. A question was: Can the Rotary principles be realistically applied in the home and at school?
Chenzira D. Kahina, co-director of the community-based faith group Per Ankh and a former educator, said the approach to teaching needs to be adjusted. "There needs to be a revision of how we view young learners," she said. "We need to incorporate civics and ethics in the schools."
Kahina believes teachers need to consider their students' needs. Learning needs to be "child centered but elder ruled," she said, suggesting that teachers explore different ways of getting their message across. "Relationships between students and teachers make a difference," she said.
Katheryn Kazakwic, a Good Hope senior, shared that view. "Children with problems will confide in teachers if the bond is there," she said.
Rotarian and businessman Lloyd Daniels emphasized the importance of quality time. "The economy has deteriorated our society," he said, citing the need for the parents in households to work long hours. "Parents pack their children off at 6 a.m. and don't see them again until 6 p.m.," he said. "We are out of touch with our children."
He suggested that to help keep the lines of communication open, parents take their youngsters with them whenever possible. "Spend time with your children -- take them with you to the grocery store; take them everywhere you go."
Some panelists put the blame on television and on society as a whole for the absence of peace.
"Violence stems from TV," Kendall Seigo Petersen, vice president of St. Croix Farmers in Action, said. "Technology has taken over the raising of the children."
Richards said: "The problem is more than violence in the schools. Youngsters are mimicking the behavior of our community."
Other panelists were Rotarian/business owner Joe Jaber, Rotarian/Baha'i member Richard Bork, Rotarian/historian George Seaman, and high school students Jenisha John of Education Complex and Ryan Caines of Good Hope.
There are four Rotary Clubs on the island: Rotary West, Rotary Mid-Isle, Rotary Harborside and Rotary Club of St. Croix. All offer presentations on the Four-Way Test to schools and other community groups. For more information call 771-4420 or send an e-mail to Rotary.

Back Talk


Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.

Publisher's note : Like the St. Croix Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much -- and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice ... click here.