We talk a great deal these days about international peace. It is in the nature of things subject on which woman must feel strongly. And none will question the strength of her influence in this, as in the other matters, so completely has she established her claim to share in the direction of public affairs. Her power is twofold-that exercised through the parliamentary vote and that which results from her position as home-maker. The former equals, even surpasses, that of man. The latter infinitely transcends it. She alone can create the will to peace. Pacts and covenants cannot of themselves make men peaceable for the simple reason that, by the time men and women are influenced .by these things their characters and ideas are formed for good or ill.
No amount of diplomatic agreement is going to overcome pugnacity inherent in human nature. The natural man may not be quite such a fire-eater as he has often been represented. The latest researches in anthropology suggest that he is quite a peaceful and decent-minded fellow. But even if pugnacity is no part of the make-up of our primary nature, it appears to have become a secondary one. It is certainly the cause of half the rows that upset the earth.
It is influence about us in childhood that make us, and, except. in case of very strong character settle our attitude towards life. Strongest of all these influences is the atmosphere of the home. It is the most formative thing on earth. It is stronger even than any explicit verbal teaching that parents may give. Where home-ties are strong, outside impressions, such as those made by school or church, are almost powerless to contract it.
An affectionate child will love and trust its parents against the whole world. He will eagerly adopt all their opinions and will form his impressions of what is or is not desirable conduct from their attitude towards life. Take as an example the case of a child whose elders are continually fault-finding and quarreling among themselves, whose parents make no attempt to control impatience and anger in their dealings with those around them. That child will inevitably grow up with the impression that indulgence in anger is a harmless or even a laudable thing.
This brings us to the heart of the matter. The spirit that produces discord in the home is the spirit that tends to international strife. How are children to grow up with a will to peace if they have never been taught, by example as well as by precept, that peace is a beautiful and desirable thing? And nothing but the will to peace on the part of each individual citizen is going to abolish war. (Adapted)