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edu180atl: billy peebles 9.2.11

We have begun “People of the Book,” with readings about Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. Gandhi’s concept of “soul force” and his commitment to nonviolent protest and civil disobedience profoundly influenced Dr. King in his leadership of the Civil Rights movement.

Recently, though, our discussion has focused on what King and Gandhi saw as the fundamental purpose of life. For Dr. King, “the end of life is to do the will of God, come what may” and for Gandhi, the ultimate goal of life is to know one’s self, to discover truth, to seek “the all pervading Spirit of Truth that is in us all.”

I was blown away by the insights offered by our students as they discussed these two transformational leaders. In their oral comments and in their writing, students articulated penetrating thoughts about the inextricable relationship King and Gandhi saw between truth, God, and love. They inspired one another and my co-teacher and me with their grasp of the idea—an idea passionately embraced by King and Gandhi—that suffering and service to the enduring principles of truth and love will ultimately redeem us. As one student put it, these two leaders show us that hatred and injustice can be defeated and redeemed “with love.”

In these last couple of days, my students have lifted me through their deep understanding of the power of lives lived in service to ceaseless searching for what is right and true.

Billy Peebles is in his 9th year as Headmaster and religion teacher at the Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia.
 

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bo Adams #

    This post reminded me of a question my six-year-old son asked me last week. PJ inquired, “Which is more important, dad, life or love?” He played with the idea a bit – without life, you could not love…without love, what would life be like. Even within a first grader, we can be reminded of that spirit which is necessary for us all to pursue.

    September 4, 2011
  2. What a powerful line–“that suffering and service to the enduring principles of truth and love will ultimately redeem us.” Thank you for this post.

    September 5, 2011
    • BIlly Peebles #

      Thanks, Ross. Dr. King and Mohandis Gandhi give us such rich material as do 18 9th graders.

      BIlly

      September 11, 2011
  3. Billy, your post took me back to 2004 in a classroom on the corner of Hosea Williams Drive. Your willingness to share the stories of great historical figures with those Atlanta Youth Academy students not only inspired and intrigued them but did the same for their teacher. Your passion for the stories of the past and willingness to share them with others will only lead to a shared “understanding of the power of lives lived in service to ceaseless searching for what is right and true.” With that…there’s hope for our communities…and for the children whose lives you have touched to lead the way in truth and in love. Thank you for this post and for your service in schools at Lovett and beyond.

    September 7, 2011
    • BIlly Peebles #

      Thank you, Megan. Dr. King and Mohandis Gandhi give us such rich material as do 18 9th graders!

      Coincidentally, I was out at AYA this past FRiday. I so appreciate the privilege Chuck Johnston has given me of getting to know the wonderful young people at that very special school.

      BIlly

      September 11, 2011

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