Time to Make a Change | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Time to Make a Change

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The dove is an international symbol of peace—or Zen, as some practice it.

If you know only one thing about Buddhism, it probably has something to do with peace or Zen, and that's perfect. If you know a lot about Buddhism, that's perfect. If you're Jewish, Muslim or don't ascribe to any religious philosophy, that, again, is perfect, too.

Each of us, no matter who we are, should make it our business to see the exhibit "From a Culture of Violence to a Culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" at the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center, opening this month.

Originally organized by the Soka Gakkai International, an association of Buddhist laypeople, the exhibit promotes education and peace via personal responsibility and growth, and engagement in the world around you.

The 1,200-square-foot exhibit that has traveled the world consists of 36 panels in four sections: ensuring human security; arms-based security v. human security; changing our worldview; and global efforts for peace.

Some of the images and messages on the panels are uplifting and affirming. Take, for example, words from the preamble to the UNESCO Constitution: "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in minds of men that the defense of peace must be constructed." Others are haunting, with large-scale images of children soldiers and one of an Indonesian boy in a boat floating through a polluted river full of plastic.

The exhibit is a must-see for anyone remotely concerned about humanity.

"From a Culture of Violence to a culture of Peace: Transforming the Human Spirit" opens at the Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center (528 Bloom St., 601-960-1457) Sept. 20 and runs through Oct. 2. For more information about the exhibit, visit http://www.sgi-usa.org/aboutsgi/cultureofpeace.

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