The Salam story series is a documentary of the future. It is intended to join folks together at the heart. Since the stories are mostly about the future, they are technically fictional but they are based on the hopes, dreams, and questions of real characters.
Once upon a time, there was a school principal. He wondered how many stars are in the sky. He wondered if more stars and planets are being created every day. He wondered how many grains of sand there were on the Earth. He wondered how many cells are in the body and how many atoms in a cell. He wondered about the Source of all life, and he wondered about space and time. “What if space and time were just an illusion? What would it be like if space and time went away, somehow? What then would I see and feel? Who created everything?” He was a man of faith. He loved being with other men and women of faith because they also wondered about the Infinite. He didn’t care about the name of a faith because he found that people of all faiths and science wonder about the same things. He also liked listening to people who claimed they had no faith because he found they also wondered a lot. The principal loved sharing his wonder, and so he would begin to wonder out loud about many things.
He not only had faith in his Creator, but he also had faith in people. He had faith that they could feel a good thing, like a good idea, a good story, or a good decision. His school had decided to choose the theme of “The Creator” for the month of November and December of 2017, and then they would move on to another theme starting January 1, 2018. How did they pick the theme this time? A mother suggested it to the principal before he left on his retreat to Arizona. When he came back and asked if the new theme had been finalized. One teacher said she discussed “Al-Khaliq,” which means “The Creator” in Arabic, with others and they agreed. And so it was decided. Al-Khaliq would be the theme to finish 2017. Their school was an Islamic school located in the land of Freedom. Their mission was to serve God.
The principal began to wonder on his 45 minute drive to work, “What about the Creator?” He would love to know more about the Creator, but he knew that it was an infinite task. He wondered if the Creator did the same thing with Creation as he did with Mercy. Did he keep 99 parts for Himself and give one part to boys and girls? What would I create? the principal wondered. The principal thought about this for a few miles on his drive into work; Just before he got off 5 North to take 90 east, he concluded, “I would love to create the “Academy of Peace.” He liked the idea and so he began creating. “I would build a school called the “Academy of Peace.” It would be for educators. They would not have to click on or pay anything to join. They would sign up with their heart. They would tell stories to other educators of how they have their heart invested in their students.”
“The first thing I would have to do, as the creator of the Academy of Peace is to give myself a title. I would want to be known as “A Principal of Peace” because I want to be among all the other Principals of Peace. I want to be on an equal playing field with them. I see all of them as my equals. They are skilled and talented people. I want to know what they are doing. I want to learn from them. Through trial and error they have learned to work with students, faculty, staff, parents, politicians, and many good folks of different faiths, races, beliefs, and personality types. They have a good understanding of people, the law, and justice. They want the same thing that their parents and teachers want. They want the best thing for their children. Principals and teachers are the most trusted people in the world. For a large part of the day, parents place their trust in them with their most valuable jewels.
Peace #16 is good. The principal knows that old people want peace too because he is one of them. He lost track of his age a long time ago and so he stopped trying to count. Just as mothers stop counting years at 29, he has also stopped counting and so he just says, “I am almost 100 years old.” Old people are harmless. They know they don’t have much time left and so they reflect a lot on the life they lead, still trying to learn from their mistakes and feel good about their accomplishments. They want to experience the last few years of their lives in peace. They want to sample more delicious food together with their families and other old people and share all the experiences they had in life. They want to travel and meet new friends. They want to smile and laugh and tell each other what their children and grandchildren are doing. They like it when younger people hug them and ask them how they are doing and they love to hug them back and hear their story, the story of where they imagine they are going, how they are evolving. Old people want the best thing for young people. They want them to get good jobs and have a good family life. They hope their families can live in peace. They know that families want no harm for their children. They know that children want to play and have fun, and they know that children are also full of wonder.
The Principal of Peace was enamored with his new title and the vision of his new academy. Although it took him almost 100 years to figure out who he is, it made the journey all the more enjoyable. He liked saying that he wondered about many things because when he did, it opened flood gates of potential. It was almost like he could see into the future. Would anyone wonder what he wondered about? The Principal of Peace learned many things in this life time. One thing he learned was Truth. He learned that there are many Truths and so, anything that seemed to be fact to him was only his Truth, his acquaintance with some knowledge. He loved to listen to all the Truth others had arrived at. As old as he was, he was still excited to learn new things. He felt he didn’t have enough time to learn everything that made him curious. Now that he had his official title, he could claim the right to “I.” It was something he hadn’t really done before. He did it only when convention required it and he had learned convention quite well. Now, at this late stage in his life, it would be authentically him. He could now proudly say who he is. “I am A Principal of Peace, but you can call me Pops, for short.”
A Principal of Peace doesn’t want the focus to be on him or her. He or she wants the focus to be on the children. Is it possible to create Peace? How would one create Peace? People have been known to create wars, therefore, logic dictates that one can also create Peace. Do we create objects like Peace Guns, Peace Keeping Missiles, or Peace Tanks? A kindergarten student from the corner of his mind answered his silly question. "That would be ridiculous." Teachers and Principals of Peace believe in their children. They believe that in the hearts of children, they are Peaceful. A Principal of Peace has learned a lot about history. The world has a shared history. "Could the world create a shared future?" Pops wondered. Many of those past stories are tragic, but they always have heroes. What if the children were heroes of this next stage of future history, of A Principal of Peace’s story? What if the children were strong enough to keep believing in all the good they could find in adults? What if children could grow up believing adults? What if children could believe in adults until 2030? What if Peace was a choice? What if Love is a choice? What if Truth is a choice?
Questions can be quite fun and entertaining. For example, how is it possible to create Peace? Any Principal has many suggestions on how to do this but prefers to keep answers to himself or herself. He or she wants to know what the students, parents, teachers, and old people think. Of course he or she will guide them, if necessary. An American Principal of Peace wonders what happened to the American hippies. What was it they were dancing and singing about when Pops was a child? What lessons did they learn from their experience? If they had to, would they do it again? Did they make any mistakes? Were they successful with their dancing, singing, and art? What did they accomplish? Do they still want Peace? Is there any way they can now help the children of the world? Didn’t they say, “Peace not War?” What else did they say?
A Principal of Peace shares his wonders of the world. He or she is not afraid to appear “ignorant.” A Principal of Peace is not afraid to say, “I don’t know,” but he or she will be quite confident that answers have a way of arriving. Principals of Peace who believe in the infinite know that no one has all the answers and that we are all merely, joyfully evolving our consciousnesses. Principals of Peace are always looking for better questions. Principals of Peace are not afraid to admit their mistakes. Principals of peace are tolerant of each person's, each familiy's decision regarding lifestyle choices. Principal's of peace work with with law enforcement because they know that the law is to protect all the good people. Principals of Peace know that in democracies, that if a law is not working, then it can be changed and there is a process to follow that could even take up to 10 years for a change. Principals of Peace acknowledges the majority, even if he or she personally disagrees. The Majority acknowledges they could be wrong.
The principal had to turn off highway 90. If he kept going on 90 East it would take him to Boston, Massachusetts. It is where the Principal received his Principal’s license from. He couldn’t imagine a better place to be decorated as School Principal. It is where the sparks of freedom began to ignite almost 300 years ago.
He exited onto 148th, which he calls Way of the Windows because the streets are lined with beautiful buildings that are decorated glass windows that reflect the green grass, the auburn trees, and the violet, blue, yellow, orange, and red cars going by. He likes seeing the reflection of his Royal Black Hyundai as he passes the buildings, but he also wonders. “Who is inside the buildings? What do they think? What do they believe? Do they know about the 17 UN Global Goals? Where do they eat lunch?”
Pops students were from the parents of some of the best minds in the world. His parents worked at all the big companies like Microsoft, Expedia, Boeing, Uber, Amazon, T-Mobile, Google, Eastsideforhire, and Facebook. The principal thought about his new graduating class of 2030. They are in Kindergarten in the 2017-18 school year. They will be graduating as high school seniors on June 9, 2030. The principal is sure most of his kindergarten students are quite Ignorant. They don’t know about the Crusades, the wars between the American settlers and Native American Indians, American Slavery, WW I, WW II, the Korean War, The Vietnam War, the Atom Bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima by the Americans, The Gulf Wars, or the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, or even 9/11. Although most of those events only appear now as pages in history books, they still carry fear, grief, and tragedy in the minds of many adults. The Kindergarten students have no idea why there is so much scrutiny at the airport or why some people are required to take off their shoes. They may grow up believing this is a normal thing to do at airports. The principal believed that all of that gunk of the past was absolutely none of their fault. The debt that America is none of their fault. They are ignorant of all of it, but they are not ignorant of Peace. Their teachers at his school spent the first month, September 2017, talking about Peace with their students. They are not ignorant of Mercy. In October 2017, their teachers taught them that God created 100 parts of Mercy and that they have within them one of those parts. Whenever a dispute happens on the playground, their teachers remind them of peace and forgiveness and the students talk it out and forgive each other, often much better than adults do. They are fast learners.
A Principal of Peace believes in all of students. He believes that they could create Peace #16. He believes that they could do it together with all the other ignorant Kindergarten students from around the world. They, alone, as one class in one school could not do it. The principal would tell them that it is possible for one person to change the world; but he would teach them the other kind of “one.” It’s the kind of “One” that is written on the coins and bills of America. They say, “E Pluribus Unum” which means “Out of many, one.” He would tell them that they would extend that meaning beyond America and take it to the world. He would tell them that they would soon be united with all the other Kindergarten classes of the world and they would all say, "We the People for the Global Goals."
The principal promised his students that he would change the social studies curriculum for them. He told them the reason everyone was supposed to learn history was to learn the lessons history had taught them, but this didn’t work too well. Instead of learning from history, students would grow up making the same mistake as described in history. He told them he would only briefly touch on past historical tragedies and explicitly describe the lessons to be learned so they wouldn’t be completely ignorant. He promised them that the new social studies curriculum would be one where they would work together with adults. The adults would ask their students and children, “What kind of world do you want to create? What kind of stories do you want to tell the other students and adults of this world?” The adults would listen to them and then help them to fulfill what they imagined.
“What kind of world would my students at the Academy of Peace create?” Pops wondered. “Would it be the kind of world where my Queen and I could retire in Peace? The principal liked to wonder out loud.
The Principal of Peace held an assembly to talk to his 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders. The talk was about their new theme, “The Creator.” He wondered out loud to his students. “I wonder if The Creator did the same with Creation as he did with Mercy. Did he divide the Creation ability into 100 parts and give one part to boys and girls and keep 99 for himself?” The crowd was quiet. “Can’t you create something? Can’t you create a website, a painting, a car, a key? He showed the crowd his key to the school mailbox. “Look how simple this is,” he said. Someone had to think about this in their mind, but not only this; they had to come up with the idea for the locking mechanism. What do you want to create?” The crowd was silent again. The Principal of Peace recognized an almost awkward silence. “Why did no one respond?” He wondered. “What were they afraid of? Do they not create at all or are they afraid that I will say it is a dumb idea? Don’t they know that A Principal of Peace never says anything is a dumb idea?” A Principal of Peace will always listen. “Does it sound weird that I say you can “Create” something?” he asked. There was the silence again and the principal waited longer in the silence… until a shy student finally said, “We can’t call ourselves Creators because only God is the Creator.” The student said, “I can’t create a plant.” The Principal of Peace said, “Exactly! That’s why I wondered if maybe The Creator kept 99 parts to himself and gave one part to man. I can create a key, a house, a car, a cell phone, but these are out of materials that already exist. What does the Quran say?” A Principal of Peace asked, and answered his own question, “…that man cannot even create a small fly?” Mohamed, the Quran teacher, corrected the Principal. “It says, ‘Man cannot even create the wing of a gnat.’” A student recited another verse. “It is God who taught man how to create.” “How to create? So man can create?” The Principal of Peace asked, but his question got lost in the growing discussion. While listening to the students’ comments, Pops noticed the Quran teacher going over to the English teacher to tell her something. After the crowd came to a quiet, the English teacher said, “Mohamed said that in Arabic, the word Creator is a special name for God only. The Creator has the ability to Create something out of nothing while we can only make things of materials that already exist.” So, in Arabic, what do you call the person who creates something? A maker, an inventor, an artist, an engineer?” The Principal of Peace asked. Mohamed said with his Arabic accent, “Yes, call him inventor.”
In English we would say that man created war. Maybe they didn’t create war. Maybe they invented it. Maybe they invented a game where people forget who they are and so they start listening to everyone else. “Who am I?” they keep asking. The worst part of this game is that some of the people believe the other people. When someone says, “You’re bad,” they actually believe him or her. The more they listen to others, the further they get way from the truth of who they really are and pretty soon they are so confused that they no longer like who they are and therefore don’t like or trust anyone else like them. They become afraid of each other because everyone seems to have strayed from the truth of who they are and because they are afraid, they begin to fear each other, trust few and soon they have to build lots of weapons just like they did in Dr. Seuss’ Butter Battle Book, a book which reflected the cold war between USA and USSR. Did the adults not learn anything from this book when they read the story to their children? What was the moral of that story? Pops wondered what parents told their children.
The Principal of Peace wondered, “If man can invent war, then surely, boys and girls, men and women, and old people can invent Peace. If all the materials for Peace are already here, then all we have to do is put together the pieces of Peace and make a new game out of it. Who has time for that? The Principal of Peace has time for that. His Teachers, Students, Parents, Town Manager, the Governor, and President all have time to play Peace. How does one play the game of Peace? It is almost the same way that one plays the game of Freedom at lunch. A Principal of Peace imagined and felt how the game of Peace is to be played for many years. He invented a wonderful game, but he needs other players. In his game, One person changes the world and one person is always the winner, but it is a different kind of One. Out of Many, there is One world remembering who they really are.
“Don’t They Eat Lunch?”
It was Monday morning. The Principal of Peace couldn’t wait to get to his work to write his story to the other Principals. “Last Friday, we had a Faculty and Staff meeting. We talked a little bit about Danielson FFT/UDL as it relates to 4d, "Participating in the Professional Community." I related that to a team building exercise our PTO is putting on for us. I kind of know what they are going to do, and I predict that the result of our activity will be worth millions one day. After that we talked about the 17 UN Global Goals again. I had discussed it briefly with everyone before and sent it out in a story to parents, but now we are diving in a little bit deeper. Today, I will declare it our official date of adoption of the 17 UN Global Goals. June 9th is the day our class of 2030 will be graduating and so it is now day 4,584. That means in 4,584 days, our students will be able to graduate and set foot out into a world of peace that they helped to create. I don’t watch the news much, but I haven’t seen or heard anything in the land of Freedom about businesses, agencies or schools adopting the Global Goals, so I believe we are early adopters."
Pops was not an early adopter of the bit coin. It was becoming more popular in the news and he wondered. "Perhaps someone can make a Peace coin. I would love to get a piece of that."
"We usually have an international day every year. We keep a running list of the countries each class chooses to research. They look into their culture, customs, religion, language, educational system and form of government. This year we will do international day but with a spin. At the meeting, I asked each teacher to email me one of the 17 Global Goals, and it would be first come first serve, but as soon as I did that, they all broke out their cell phones and began looking at the goals again. I should have thought that through a bit better. I asked them to stop and put their phones down. I made a quick decision and said I would choose a goal for them based on what I know about them, although I said they could still send me their preference. So my fun task today is to look at all the goals and all the teachers of all of our classrooms and assign one goal per classroom. Then on our international day, our students will present what they learned about this goal to all the other students. Each class will rotate through another classroom and learn more about what other principals, teachers, and students are doing to implement the goals around the globe. Most importantly, they will get to using their imagination and tell teachers and parents the story of the kind of world they would like to see in 2030. Our PE teacher, John, reminded us that it would be good to keep in mind age considerations. I said, “Good idea.'"
"I’m in the best position because I get to help facilitate all of this. The teachers get to tell the students about the Global Goals to students and parents and then students, parents, and teachers research them. They ask the question, “What kind of world do I want to see in 2030? And then they begin to tell stories and I get to write stories down for teachers and parents to read. I’m also the official storyteller of my school. I always get to my writing studio early in the morning long before the school even begins, and I write the story of the school. What I’m hoping is that students will begin telling me the stories about the kind of world they want to live in. Then I write some of those stories down for parents and teachers to read and then parents at night read them back to their children and we get this wonderful vision of the world developing."
What kind of planet would be ideal? I was imagining that over the weekend. I thought it would first start in my own neighborhood. I would be sure to be home by 7:30 p.m. because at 7:30 all the neighbors would pop open their doors to see if anyone else was out. My wife and I would tell everyone to come out at 7:30 to say “Hi” and give each other a high five, especially the children and on weekends we would all come out on the street for a few minutes in the morning to say high and drink a hot cup of coffee together. We couldn’t wait till 7:30 each evening when we would all come out. We liked it when the police drove by. They thought we were all crazy at first but then when we told them about all the good people in the neighborhood, they were happy we were watching the neighborhood. They said it helped to make their job a lot easier. Then I imagined I made arrangements with other local principals to meet in a different town park at least once a month and all the principals would invite all the teachers and families out to the same park and they would get to know each other and the children would wear their Global Goal tshirts and those who wanted a cleaner Earth would run around the park collecting trash and parents would be helping to make repairs to the park. There would be the pleasant smells of fires going and food cooking. There would be the laughter of children and the sound of music in the air. There would be smiles on the faces of adults as they wondered why they didn’t do this long ago and there would be the old people who would accompany their grandchildren. They would be walking with a new spring in their gate as their imaginations and hopes came back to them as the children began telling them stories about the future, about Peace #16 on Earth in 2030.
One teacher mentioned that we should provide the opportunity for our students to sell the things they make or invent. I thought it was a good idea. This ties in perfectly to our theme this month which is “The Creator.” Our students will have the opportunity to create things. They will do this in regards to the world they imagine in 2030. Then, on our international day, the students will sell what they created and this will help to raise money for our building fund. We plan to open our new campus in 2025. I don’t want to be using the images of the UN Global goals that are on the internet for fear of copyright infringement, so I will choose the best pieces of art from each class and take a picture of it and show what each class is doing to pave the path to 2030. If they make a video, I will post a link to that on our school website.
As I began imagining what the world could look like in 2030, many ideas flooded my imagination and I would watch each story and I would play it out until it no longer felt good. If it didn’t feel good, I would take the story in a different direction. I found there to be an infinite number of directions the story could go, some of them not in such a good direction and that is why it is critical that we are all on the same page. Politics and the news media can often be too volatile for our children. Our schools have to remain steady for our children. They need to know we are keeping the Peace for them. Will they believe us? We need to tell them that they can change the world. We need to show them that they can change the world. We need to show them that they can significantly impact the next election. We need to show them that they can vote with their dollars although they are all under 18. We need to show them that they can vote for Freedom, but it has to be a freedom for all the people of the world. The next president of the United States of America will have to demonstrate that he or she understands the people of the world. He or she will have to show that they understand that one person’s freedom could be another person’s oppression. The children of the world will have to trust that the adults will be able to sort through all the fluff and make the right decision for Freedom.
The Children will contribute a dollar or two to a lunch fund. The board of directors or the PTO will then put this money into a special Freedom fund. They will hold on to all monies until just after the next election. They require that the candidate demonstrate with his or her words and actions how they will use the money, which is a gift for all Americans, once they are voted into office. I thought this would make a good story and so I created “Iplayeddemocracy.com” which explains the process in more depth. I realized that America has helped other countries around the world as well. I imagine they appreciated the assistance. Wouldn’t they want to help Freedom? Wouldn’t they want to help influence the next election? I can’t wait to hear of the first international school or company that agrees to create their own Freedom Lunch Fund. Wouldn’t American businesses and companies want to contribute to the fund as well? Let’s play democracy. Let’s play Freedom. If anyone wants to be president, she or he will need to write why she or he is the best candidate and what they think about the Global Goals. What do they know about Freedom? What will they do for Freedom? What do they believe will happen in the future? Are they good at talking to young people? I would love to see candidates on camera spending significant time in schools talking to children. I want to see how they respond to children of all ages. Will they be able to really listen? Will they be able to relate to the vibration and vitality of the young? Will they appear awkward? Will they be able to relate to the children’s sense of optimism and belief in adults? What story will the next presidential candidate have to tell our children? What goals will the next presidential candidate have till 2030 and 2045? Will they have better goals then the ones our school has adopted? Will the next presidential candidate contribute to a Freedom Lunch Fund? Don't they eat lunch?
We, as one school, can’t do this alone. We can’t make the world a better place just by ourselves. I wanted to let you know that our school is uniting with the many other schools from around the world to achieve the 17 goals set forth by people of the United Nations. We can do this with many classrooms. Out of many classroom we can be One in our purpose. Will you help us?
A KG Letter to the World
It was 8:39, just 9 minutes after the school bell went off and classes started. The principal was busy responding to emails when the kindergarten teacher walked into his office with a concerned look on her face. She handed him an envelope. It had the return address of the school, but it was addressed to “The World.” There was no street address or zip code, not even a country. “My students said they want you to send this today.” The principal looked perplexed as did the kindergarten teacher. “Open it,” She said. They want you to read it. It was sealed. The kindergarten teacher hadn’t read it. The principal opened it with both a bit of anticipation and worry. He began to read the letter out loud to the kindergarten teacher.
We are a kindergarten class, the high school graduating class of 2030. Please help us! Help us to get out of this school. We have the most boring principal in the world. Yesterday he spent an hour of our time telling us about the Crusades, World War I and II, the wars between American Indians and freedom explorers, the Holocausts, American slavery, 9/11, the bomb on Hiroshima, the Vietnam war, the Korean war and he just went on and on until finally it was time for recess. The worst part was he told it to us as if it is still real, like it just happened yesterday. He showed us all these pictures and videos, but really, do you guys still think this is happening now? Look at your history books. These are just pages now. Has no one ever apologized? Is this the problem adults have with the past? We figured no one has, so we will do that.
We, are a Senior Graduating class of 2030. It is 2017 and we are currently in kindergarten. We would like to apologize for the mistakes created by our forefathers, our grandparents, our parents and us. Can you forgive us? Yes, it is true that all this stuff happened before we were born, and probably most before you were born, but we hope that you can forgive us. It appears we are destined to inherit these problems. We will accept the responsibility, and to show you we are sincere, we will make things right, but we will need your help.
For all the mistakes, wars, lies, killings, slavery, murders, rape, genocide and other atrocities committed by our forefathers, grandparents, our parents, and us, we sincerely apologize.
We are sorry for the Crusades and for any of your people we may have harmed.
We apologize to the American Indians on behalf of those who were in search of freedom. They did not realize what they were doing.
We apologize to every person who was torn away from his or her family to be used as a slave.
We apologize for taking your land because we thought it was our divine right from God.
We apologize for our arrogance, for thinking that our family was better and more important than yours. Can we now be equals?
We apologize for dropping bombs on your people and burning your villages and fields.
We apologize for the holocaust.
We apologize for any terrorist activities that killed another human and put others in fear.
We apologized for insisting our way is the right way and not listening to you.
We apologize for all the families we broke up.
We apologize for not listening to you when you were asking for help.
Will you accept our apology? If so, we hope we can move on together and make things better. Our principal gave us a few ideas. He’s really not that bad. He told us to use our imagination. He told us about the 17 UN Global Goals, management, accountability, and democracy. We loved hearing about Democracy. He told us how we, as kindergarten students, could "vote" in the next American election on November 3rd, 2020. So world, we want to ask you. “Will you take our money? We agreed to play democracy with one dollar of our lunch money so we can help influence the elections. The money we and other schools and businesses collect will be "A Gift for Americans." How will the newly elected president decide to spend it? What will his or her written response look like?
Dear World, will you forgive us? Will you take our lunch money?
After recess and lunch, our principal told us about the 17 UN Global goals. They seemed a lot more fun than history. Our principal told us that we could make history if we have an anchor in the future. He said that if the events are about the shared future, then it is called "herstory." Now we have 17 anchors in the future. We are studying about our Creator at our school and we are learning about our own ability to create. To create, we make something new out of things that we already have. Once we do that, then herstory will transition to history and we will be in both.
What do you think happens after our apology? We took on that responsibility, and now, we need your help. Our principal taught us “Out of Many, One.” He said he was reminded of that from his Yoga instructor in Sedona. The Yoga instructor said that Yoga also means “One.” Can we now work together as One world? Every time we have an argument with each other, our teachers can help us talk it out. Shouldn’t you all be listening to the teachers? If you’re not listening to them, who are you listening to? Our principal said that our teachers at our school are going to make a piece of art and since we are the first school to start creating herstory, he is going to open the bid for this piece of art at $20 million, and then he agreed to ask the PTO to put 100% of the proceeds in the Freedom Lunch Fund, even though we could use all that money for our new campus. He said working together comes first.
He said that in a democracy, we must accept the will of the majority to be happy in a democracy, even though we may disagree with the majority. He said this is the nature of democracy. He said we will ask the PTO to fund the future candidate after the election even if it is not the one whom we hoped would win. He said if our candidate loses, we say, “Congratulations” to our fellow Americans and then we begin saving up our lunch money again and searching for the next presidential candidate for the Land of Freedom. He said, most importantly, after the winner of any election we need to work together for the common goals of the people. He said we need to constantly ask ourselves, “What are our common goals?” Then, he said, most importantly again, don’t forget to play Freedom. He finally released us to recess and said, “Have fun playing Freedom.”
We have accepted responsibility for the faults of our forefathers, our grandparents, and parents, and we asked for your forgiveness. We have also accepted responsibility for making history and working on the 17 UN Global Goals. Can we heal the wounds of the past? Will you forgive us? Will you accept our lunch money? Will you help us? If you want to hold us accountable, then hold us accountable for bringing about the Goals that we, the United Nations, agreed on. Out of many, we are One World. We are ready to work with you with a smile on our faces and a hug in our arms. Don’t be afraid of us; we are only 5 years old. Let us work in Peace. Let us listen to the teachers on how we can get along with each other. Let us listen to the dreams of our mothers, fathers, and grandparents and those who came before us. Let us explore infinite good possibilities together. Let us create the kind of world where we live in peace and in acceptance of the values and beliefs of each person’s family. Let us celebrate, learn, and sample different kinds of exotic foods together. Let us play Freedom together.
A Graduating Class of 2030
The principal knew what he had to do. He would type up the letter and post it to the Internet for all the world to see. It was perfect timing; it was the day before the American holiday of Thanksgiving. There was much to be thankful for. He typed up the letter with great anticipation and he wondered. “Who would be the first one to read the letter? Would another school create their own Freedom Lunch Fund? Would other countries, showing their appreciation for the Land of Freedom, participate in the next American election by creating their own Freedom Lunch Fund? Would the American hippies come out of their closets and help the students all around the world?
The principal slept in and was leaving late. It was 3:40 a.m. He couldn’t wait to get up every morning to write a new story. He never knew what he would write about next. He technically wasn’t principal yet. He doesn’t become a principal until 8:00 a.m. Until then, he is still King. He hated leaving his Queen so early every morning. He left his town of Federal Way, Washington and was travelling down Military Way on his way to "Way of the Windows." It was dark, but not too cold for the middle of November. He wasn’t wearing a jacket. “Stairway to Heaven” was playing on Spotify on his play list he calls “Movie Watching.” When he plays his songs, they help to enhance his already big imagination. He didn’t get far down Military Way before meeting a new pothole. The abrupt greeting was enough to blow out all the air in his tire. He pulled over to the side of the road. It was dark. He exclaimed, “Oh man!” as he realized his coffee would get cold while changing the tire. He took a last sip goodbye to his hot coffee. He loosened all the nuts and jacked up the car. He didn’t like the car jack handle. It took too much time to use. He was thankful there were few cars on the dark road.
“Why God?” he asked. He loved looking for the signs because he believed that everything worked out for the best. He liked to believe that his life flowed smoothly like water. He remembered that Bruce Lee said, “Be like water, my friend.” “Was it because I helped an artist in Sedona to change her flat tire? Now will I be paid back with help?” After changing her tire she gave him a picture of a million dollar bill with President Trump’s picture painted on it. The King quietly gasped when he was handed this. He wasn’t the biggest fan of President Trump, but he was grateful for the Freedom he had to say such a thing. One time when he was teaching English in Saudi Arabia to Saudi mechanics, one of the students got off topic and started blurting out, “I hate the King.” King Fahad was King at the time. All the students looked at each other in surprise because the assumption was that there was always a spy in the room. One Shite Muslim student reached for a box of Kleenex and started shredding it and quickly stuffing it into his ears. He did not want to be a party to the ensuing list of complaints. The English teacher knew this was not appropriate in their culture and put a stop to the strange rampage. They were afraid of their government. They did not have have Freedom. They didn’t know what Freedom feels like. The King thought, maybe the picture the artist gave him means that President Trump is going to be the first, as a private American citizen to contribute a million dollars to a Freedom Lunch Story fund. The King wondered, “The President of the United States of America surely believes in Freedom, doesn’t he? Would he contribute?” “That would make a good story,” the principal imagined.
After too much time on the side of the dark Military Way, the King was finally able to tighten the nuts on the red rim of the spare tire. “Solsbury Hill” was emanating from his back pocket. A truck slowed down and parked behind his Royal Black Hyundai Coach. A man with a big heart and big arms got out and said, “How you doing?” The King stood up to greet the man. The man didn’t realize he had stopped to help a King.
“I passed you and turned around when I saw you trying to change the tire in the dark.”
“You on your way to work?” the King asked.
“Just getting off”
“Where you coming from”
“Seattle!” the King said surprised. “That’s a long way from Federal Way. What do you do there?”
“I work for a truck rental company (clue #1). I’m a mechanic there.”
They talked about how far Seattle was and how expensive it is. The mechanic talked about moving even further south because of the expensive home prices in the North. The mechanic went to the back of the truck to get another wrench that made if faster to use the jack. The man got down on his knees and finished lowering the jack. The King thanked him and and asked him, “What’s your name?”
“Corona” said the mechanic with his Spanish accent. Corona means Crown in English. (clue #2)
The King smiled and said, “Then tonight I will drink to your name.”
The mechanic smiled awkwardly like many people don’t understand his name and the King felt awkward for saying it.
“God bless!” Crown said and they parted ways.
The King put the flat tire in the trunk and drove off, sipping on his luke warm coffee. “Why did this happen?” he wondered. Why did I get a million dollar picture of President Trump? Why did Crown come to help me?” The King told Crown that he should get “The Citizenship Award.” The King thought that the mechanic had earned his Crown. He thought to himself, “In my kingdom, I take care of my people who do good. I will arrange a way for the Truck Rental Company and Beverage Company to pay a bonus to Crown. The King wished he could buy a house of Crown’s choosing. He knows how fun that is. Just that night, he and his Queen were projecting homes they found on Zillow onto the wall near the foot of their bed and imagined what it would be like to live in such a beautiful home. The King imagined himself and his Queen looking forward to visiting Crown and his lovely Queen in the home of their choice. They would all enjoy a home-cooked meal and share stories of family, freedom, and dreams, and they would laugh throughout the night.
The King was practicing inventing the future and peace. He was telling the kind of stories that kindergarten teachers and mothers could tell to their children. He was creating herstory in the future because it was the only way it could become history, the kind of history that teachers enjoy teaching and children love learning. Good, intrigue, mystery, clues, signs, anticipation, hope, joy, happiness, 17 goals, are things that already exist. The King would put all the stories together from children all over the world and find the Way to Peace each time. The King had faith in his people. He believed there was good in every one of them. He just found it in Crown. He knew the good was there in his own family, in his students, teachers, and parents and it was always shining in his Queen. The King was on a new mission, we wanted to find the good in all the people. He smiled to himself. “This will be a fun adventure for the Queen and I.”
“I Vote for Freedom”
After showing the letter to “The World” to the school principal, the kindergarten teacher went back to her class. She knew what she had to do. All of the teachers would have a lot of work to do for the graduating class of 2030. They were going to be collecting a lot of money to pay off their debt in the United States of America, working with other communities around the world, writing to other children around the world, and putting up videos on Youtube. They were going to be asking a lot of questions about planet Earth and the Universe and their Creator.
She had so much to do and so little time. “Where am I going to begin today?” she wondered as she walked back to class. The first thing she wanted to do was to tell them thank you for writing such a beautiful and thoughtful letter and for most of all owning the responsibility of all the bad deeds and the financial debt of previous Americans. She wanted to thank them most of all for agreeing to be held accountable for making the world a better place to live in, along with their commitment to accomplish the Global Goals by 2030.
She walked into class. The teaching assistant had taken over while she was away. The class looked like they were just finishing talking about the weather.
“What is the weather like today?”
“Rainy” the students would often reply, living not far from Seattle.
The assistant looked up as the kindergarten teacher walked in. The kindergarten teacher walked to the front of the class and said, “Class, I have something to tell you.” The assistant interrupted and said, “They have something to show you.” They were all sitting criss-cross applesauce on the carpet in front of the white board. At once they rocked to one side and pulled out a dollar bill from under their bum; they raised and waived it above their heads.
“What is this?” The kindergarten teacher said looking at the teaching assistant for a clue.
Mary got up from the carpet, walked over to the kindergarten teacher and handed it to her.
“This is one dollar” Mary said. “I vote for freedom for everyone. I hope that everyone can play democracy. This is from my lunch money. I’m not buying chips today.”
Then each child, one by one, went up to the kindergarten teacher and said, “This is one dollar. I vote for freedom.”
The Kindergarten teacher, in just 4 minutes had collected $20. There were 20 votes for Freedom. She couldn’t wait to show the principal.
The kindergarten teacher thanked them and told them about their next assignment. You are only one class. I know the principal told you about "E Pluribus Unum." And so it will be your assignment for the day. I want you to figure out how many kindergarten classes there are in the United States. Assume that 20 is the average size for each class. Then I want you to multiply $20 by 180 days, the number of school days we have; then multiply that by 13, the number of years until you graduate from high school in 2030, and then multiply that by the number of kindergarten classes there are in the United States.
“Is this all about you class, just the kindergarten class of As-Salam school?” the kindergarten teacher asked.
“No” all 20 students replied.
“How are you going to get others involved?”
“We will use our words” the class said. “We will ask for help.”
What kinds of questions will you ask?
Mary was the spokesgirl for the class. “We will first ask the Parent Teacher Organization if they can hold our money in the bank until after the election of November 3, 2020 is decided.” Then we will ask the first graders if they can help in voting for Freedom for everyone, and then we will ask them to ask the second graders if they can help in voting for Freedom and so on until it gets to the senior graduating class of 2018. We will ask the seniors if they can help us vote for Freedom. They would be the very first graduating class to vote for Freedom with their lunch money, and in 2020 they will actually get to vote for the next President of the Land of Freedom. We will then ask the leaders of the world what their plan for world peace is until 2030, and if we find they got nothing, then we will go back to listening to the plan our teaches told us about. We will work together with the other children of the world in successfully scoring on the 17 UN Global Goals. We will ask our parents for help and the media for help. Did we tell you that we already leaked our letter to the media? They will be here on Monday for a press conference.”
The recess bell rang. It was time to play Freedom. The students sat quietly in anticipation waiting to be dismissed. This was one time they didn’t mind being dismissed. The kindergarten teacher was beaming. She said, “Thank you class. It’s time to play Freedom. Remember to have fun. You are dismissed.”
How Can I Help?
It was Monday morning, the first day back after the Thanksgiving weekend of many American family celebrations. Thanksgiving was a day born out of Thanks. Tradition states the early American settlers wanted to show their appreciation to the Native American Indians for helping them settle in a new land, a land that symbolized a new world, a fresh start, and Freedom. This was, of course, before America was America, before its first 13 colonies, and before slaves were brought over. There were just a few pilgrims from Europe. What were they all escaping from? Why didn’t they feel free? Why did they desire? Why would new immigrants make the journey even though they knew they had to risk their lives in the crossing of the dangerous sea and landing in uncharted territory?
It was 9:18 a.m. the press conference was about to take place in the kindergarten classroom. Marie was brought in and seated in the front of the class. She looked around and back to the principal with a surprised look on her face. She got up from her seat and went back over to the principal who was standing in the back of the classroom.
“I thought you said this was a press conference” Marie said
“It is.” the principal answered.
“Why am I the only one here? Are the others late?”
“No, You were the only one invited.”
“Why me? I don’t even have a camera or a crew. I thought I was here more or less to observe.”
“Why don’t you ask the kindergartners why you were the only one invited?”
Marie went back to the front of the class. She sat down in the teacher’s chair and cleared her throat. She looked back at the principal with the look on her face that said, “Shall I start?” The principal nodded his head and Marie started with a smile on her face. She was a little awkward at first. She hadn’t prepared anything to say.
“Hello class. My name is Marie. I’m here to interview you.”
“Assalamu Alaikum,” all 20 students replied at once with a roaring hearty greeting. From the back of the class, the principal said, “That means “Peace to You.” They are sending their wishes of Peace upon you.
“And I wish Peace for you, too.” Marie said. “So can I ask you why you only invited me? You could have invited CNN, FOX News, the BBC or any local news station. Why just me?
Many of the students raised their hands. Marie called on Mary.
“We only called on you because it makes the game a lot more fun.”
“What game is that?” Marie asked.
“We have many games said Mary, which one would you like to know about? We have Freedom game, the Lunch game, the Anonymous game, the Country name-change game, the Reverse Truman Show game, the 17 Goal Game, the Choice game, The Lag game, The RP Game, the Success Game, to name a few.”
“Which game is it to invite only me?”
“That’s part of the Magnent Game.” In that game, we are all like U-magnets, with a North and South pole, but we call it positive and negative and in that game we attract someone who has the opposite of what we have and when we attract that person, we know it is because we have something to learn from them and they have something to learn from us. When our poles attract, it's almost like we make a complete circle. All of us have positive and negative inside of us. With anyone we attract,we play the game “Wonder Why.” We look for the positive in all things and wonder what we can learn from anything negative we both have experienced. We wonder what magical story we can make up together. We like to play the "Make Believe" game.
Mary said, “We heard a lot of positive things about you.”
“Really?” Marie glanced over to the principal wondering what the principal told the class about her.
Bill raised his hand and had an enthusiastic grin on his face.
“Yes,” Marie said, pointing to Bill and allowing him to take his turn to speak.
The principal said that he heard about the 17 UN Global Goals because of you. He said you were the one to hear about it when you went to Bali to learn more about Roger Hamilton. You said that Mr. Hamilton believes everyone is a genius and so our principal and teachers calls each one of us a genius.
Then other students started to raise their hands and Marie called on them one by one.
“Since Mr. Hamilton teaches people how to be effective business people and to work effectively in teams, what would he say for us? How can we work in teams to accomplish the 17 UN Global Goals by 2030?
Marie said, “Good Question. I will ask him.”
“Didn’t Mr. Hamilton say that you are the hope for America?
“Yes, he did.” Marie said with a grin and a suspicious glance to the principal wondering what else he told the class about her.
“What else did the principal tell you?” Marie asked.
“He said that you said we could all be billionares. All we had to do was change our definition of billionare, which we have. We are all billionares because we get to make believe with the other billions of people in the world that we can affect their lives, that we can have a positive impact.” We believe along with billions of others around the world in Peace #16 and the other UN Goals. We will affect the lives of billions, and the billions will positively affect our lives.”
Did we tell you about the Anonymous game? We are asking you to keep our school anonymous.
“How can you affect the lives of billions if you remain anonymous?”
That’s part of the RP game, the “Reverse Psychology” game. All you have to do is tell someone that you want to remain anonymous and just because of that simple statement, everyone wants to know the name of our classroom, our school, our city and so on. It’s just another way to tell others we are all on the same page.
“But why me?” Marie asked. “I’m only one person. You could have had your message go out to all the networks tonight.”
Susie raised her hand, “That’s part of the Reverse Truman Show Game.” Have you seen that movie?
“No,” Marie said
“In that show, all the cameras were on Truman from the time he was an infant and all the people around the world watched. They even had badges that said “Are you in on it?” In our game, we, as infants, begin asking adults for help. We ask them, “Are you in on the 17?” Only a few people know that the 17 refers to the 17 UN Goals. We want to see who will be the last one in the world to know what "the 17" means. We like seeing the surprised expression on the faces of the adults when we tell them. They seem to be the last to know. Our teachers told us about these a long time ago. It seems the whole world is in on it.
“Tim raised his hand,” We have all the time in the world. It is more fun having this game spread slowly. We like watching all the surprised looks on the faces of the adults. They kind of wake up and see it was all just a game. So, as long as we are playing a game, why not play the Freedom game. This is what we play at recess. We listen to our teachers and we all play peacefully even though we are all of different religions, cultures, skin color, and families.
So why did you want to hold a press conference?
Many students raised their hands.
“We have something to announce. Here are some possible headlines for you.”
“First American Islamic Kindergarten Class to Participate in American Elections.”
If you want to read more about that, you can read about that in our principals diary November 23, 2017, titled “I Vote for Freedom.” That is how we affected Billions of Lives and how we worked together so that for the American election of 2020 we will raise billions to help pay off our country’s national debt. We will also do this for the election of 2024, 2028 and then finally, for the first election we get to officially vote in in 2032.
What about this headline? “Anonymous Kindergarten Class Prepares to Pay Off American National Debt.”
Jane raised her hand and was subtly snickering. “Do you want to know what else the principal told us? He said he is going to get a hat for all of us, his Queen, and himself. It will say “Warning” on it and under the word warning, it will say “You may become part of our story.” Too bad you weren’t warned before you came to our class.
“That’s okay,” Marie said, “I want to be part of your story. How can I help?”
And just at that sentiment, the bell rang. It was time for recess. The class sat quietly in anticipation of being dismissed. Mary raised her hand.
"Yes," the kindergarten teacher asked.
“Is it okay if Marie comes out to play Freedom with us?”
The kindergarten teacher said, “I don’t know. You will have to ask Marie. That’s her choice.”
"Let's Have Us Some Fun"
The recess bell, also known as the Liberty Bell went off, and the kindergarten teacher waited for the class to come to a quiet. Mary looked at Marie in eager anticipation. Marie had a smile on her face and her gaze locked for a fraction of a second with Mary’s, but to Mary it seemed like a life time. Mary knew that smile when someone wanted to be her friend. Marie didn’t say anything but Mary knew that she could believe Marie.
“You are dismissed Class of 2030,” the kindergarten teacher said.
Mary, still feeling eager anticipation and still having her gaze and smile on Marie waited for what the next few seconds would bring.
Marie smiled and cocked her head slightly to the right in appreciation and curiosity for what the teacher said. She never imagined this kindergarten class as the class of 2030.
Marie, then with a confirmation in her eyes and with her stare still on Mary, reached out her hand and said, “Let’s play Freedom.”
Mary grabbed Marie’s hand and they walked out to the playground together. Their playground consisted of 9 parking spaces in the back of their KG classroom and a second driveway entrance into the school to the left of their classroom that they could block off after the morning drop off time, along with a small patch of grass. There were a couple of short basketball hoops, and some four square spaces painted on the entrance driveway. The children never had difficulty inventing games to play. Most of the time all the students understood that recess was just for playing games. They liked the quick pace at which rules changed and this is how everyone enjoyed playing. They all kept up with the evolving nature of the game, but sometimes a child didn’t know the rule and he or she would get upset because he didn’t know rules had changed and then the game was no longer fun and they would spend the remainder of the Liberty time complaining about the games.
“What are some of your games?” Marie questioned Mary.
“Actually, we have several games going on at the same time and that is what makes it even more fun. Another name we use for games is “Stories.” We got this from our principal. He said that he and his Queen are Master Storytellers. He said that everything is a story. Sometimes we play the “Now game” in class. He would ask us, “What story are you playing right…” He would take a pause and then say, "Now!"
“We would all say, ‘Student!' He says our lives are like a beautiful songs and no matter where we are, we can always be in the middle of a beautiful song, it's just a matter of what kind of music we choose to play. He said our songs are like the stories we tell each other."
And then he would call the names of a few students and say, “And Bill, what happens in your story… And Mary what happens in your story…?” And we usually say things like “I never stop learning. I have an amazing family and friends. I work in teams with co-workers, and we are constantly travelling into new stories. Some of are already talking about 9 possible UN Goals for 2045."
“Don’t you think stories are fun Marie?” Mary asked with a leading question.
“Of course I do.” Mary got the buy in. Kindergarten students knew this was easy to do. They just knew that big people wanted to help them and they enjoyed playing this game. All they had to do was pretend they didn’t know how to do anything.
Mary said, “We told you a little about the magnet game.” Why do you think you were attracted to us? Did you ever think that you would be invited to a Muslim school for a press conference?”
“Well to be honest Mary,…”
Mary interrupted Marie, “Do you think things just happen randomly or for a purpose?”
Marie started to answer but Mary interrupted with another question.
“Aren’t you a creator Marie?”
Marie looked at Mary in surprise and wondered what else the principal told the students about her She wondered why Mary would even bring up such a question.
“You’ve been warned, haven’t you?” Mary asked.
“I’m sorry…?” Marie asked.
“You heard Bill say that the principal talked about giving all of us hats that say, “Warning” on them. We believe that if you come into our life it is for some good reason. There is a way that we will make you successful and you will make us successful even beyond our elementary imaginations. These are the stories that we tell each other. Every person or company that we come into contact with becomes part of our Freedom story and we affect the lives of billions. We all want to be billionares by the time we graduate from high school. By the time we graduate, we will have positively affected over a billion lives. Our teacher played us the song, "A Million Dreams" by Ziv Zaifman. We changed it to "A Billion Dreams" and we sing it each morning.
“At our school a lot of us don’t like calling each other ‘creator’ because we reserve that special name with a capital C for the Source of all Creation whom we believe can create something out of nothing, whereas we can create nothing out of something, just like they did in the Seinfeld comedy. We prefer using the name inventor or imagineer."
“Isn’t this your genius type? Arent you a creator or imagineer genius?” Mary asked. Can you help us create Peace #16? All the pieces are already there. How can you put them all together? We believe all those pieces are already inside of you. We need someone with your experience and knowledge of creating. How can we achieve all 17 of these goals by the time we graduate? How can we become billionares? How can we make you successful? Do you want to write a book, publish weekly podcasts, host your own television show, or make a movie? We could help you with one of those or all of them. What story would you like us to tell for you? What story will you tell of us?
“Why was I chosen out of all the people in the world to tell your story?” Marie asked.
“Why were any of us chosen?” Mary said.
“What if I don’t do anything with your story?” Marie asked.
“We are all attracted to each other for a reason. The fun part of the journey is discovering why.”
“But what if I don’t write your story? Marie insisted.
“We never know how stories are going to turn out. Our teachers tell us that whatever we do, we should have fun in doing it and so this is one of the first rules we have.”
“Who else is in your story?” Marie asked.
“Everyone that we are attracted to. Our best stories are about our families, but we keep most of those stories private, although we do like to tell the stories of the successes of our families, even if they are small like my brother getting new Nikes so he can play basketball better. There are other companies like those Lorex cameras being installed.”
Mary pointed to the man on the ladder twisting wires on a white surveillance Camera on the outside of the kindergarten building. She also mentioned that on Back Friday her father was able to buy a Samsung Chomebook for the school at Frys for $80 off it’s regular price. The principal told us about a principal and his wife he met in Sedona. They are from North Carolina. He is going to call them and see if they know about the 17 goals. We are always thinking of ways that we can make others successful and we believe they are doing the same for us. All 300 of the students at our school want Peace as do all of our parents, grandparents, our neighbors and friends. We figure that at just our school, we represent millions of people from around the world. You kind of come from a different world than we do. How can your world and our world come together as one world?” “Do you think you can invent Peace for us?” Mary asked.
Marie took a contemplative moment to answer the question. Her eyes moved to the right and to the left as if she was looking at a screen inside her mind. It was full of ideas which seemed to have started pouring in ever since the time the kindergarten class mentioned games and fun.
“What’s the first rule your teacher said you should follow at recess?” Marie asked
“Have fun!” Mary replied.
“Then let’s do that. "” Marie said.
Mary said with excitement, "This is going to be the best play of our lives." (sung to the tune of "Best Day of My Life" by American Authors).