OK, let’s do a little exercise. Grab a pen and paper. Without thinking much about it, write down the first 5 words that come to your mind when you hear the word PEACE.
OK, now, take a deep breath, clear your mind, re-center…
…and when you’re ready, write down the first 5 words that come to your mind when you hear the word FOOD.
This was the opening exercise to our workshop at the National Peace Academy Peacelearning Conference last weekend in Boulder. We thought it would be a good icebreaker, a good way to get people to start thinking about peace and food, and a good way to illustrate the intersections of these words, and the varied meanings they can have in our lives from person to person.
We had everyone write their words on sticky notes, and we put the words into a wordle (word cloud). Wordle puts the words into a cloud, and the more times the word is present, the larger it is in proportion to the others. This is what came up for peace:
And here is the list of words that came up for food:
A comparison of the two lists shows they have some very clear intersections: love, community, happy, family, compassion, life, health, friend(ship).
It’s also really interesting to look at the unique words, especially for the food exercise. Look at all the different things that come up! Food means a lot of different things to different people.
When I did the food exercise, I came up with:
What words come to mind for you when you hear the words peace and food?
What is the significance of these associations?