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Peace Education

Russian Conference Explores How to ‘Love the World’

Ryazan, Russia—The topic of proper attitudes toward other people and the environment was explored during a one-day UPF conference held in the city of Ryazan.

The conference titled "Love Yourself—Love the World" was held on July 9, 2017, at the Ryazan Regional Children's Library. The participants were UPF Ambassadors for Peace, schoolteachers and employees of the library.

Because 2017 has been declared in Russia as the Year of Ecology, the discussion focused largely on our responsibility toward the environment. Guided by Olga Neyzdayminova, the UPF representative in Ryazan city, the participants calculated the ecological trace that each of them would leave on the planet.

Unfortunately, it turned out that with the existing way of life, we are expending the planet's reserves several times faster than they can be replenished. If all the inhabitants of the Earth followed such a lifestyle, we would need two to four planets like the Earth to support human life.

Since 1970, when the Day of Environmental Debt was registered for the first time, humankind has been in debt to the Earth. This came as a shock to the participants.

The concept that humankind’s attitude to nature reflects what is going on in the human soul was explored by Alexey Kuznetsov, the president of the Ryazan chapter of Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), an affiliated organization. His presentation was titled "Ecology of the Soul."

He spoke about the need for a non-conflict worldview and emphasized the need for spiritual and moral education. He stated that many years ago he was fortunate to become acquainted with the worldview of a great man, the peacemaker Rev. Dr. Sun Myung Moon, who founded UPF and many affiliated organizations. Mr. Kuznetsov supplemented his words with excerpts from Dr. Moon's autobiography.

Another topic of discussion was that we all are creating history so that we can transfer our accumulated knowledge and experience to future generations.

This topic was discussed in the talks given by Lutfiya Maksumova, the chair of the Women's Committee of the Ryazan Regional Tajik Community and Cultural Center, and Olga Polunina, the chief librarian of the Ryazan Regional Children's Library.

Over the past five years, using the library as a base, they have been implementing the international family project "I Love Peace and Nature!" In this project, children and their parents read fairy tales, make outdoor excursions, carry out environmental projects, and get acquainted with the cultures of different peoples, even participating in their holidays. The two speakers accompanied their words with photos and videos.

Children raised in such a spirit, they said, will grow into adults who treat representatives of any nationality with respect and reverence—that is, in a natural way expanding a culture of peace.

The official part of the meeting ended with news about the progress of the "Peace Road" project, and discussion of plans for development of the Ryazan stage of this project.

After the official part of the conference ended, the participants wrote their wishes and impressions on a poster prepared especially for the conference by children. Then, over a cup of tea, they enjoyed a performance by the musician Ruslan Nechaev, a member of the local musical group Parnas.

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