Professort urges peace
Monday night, AU professor and former Washington Post columnist Colman McCarthy spoke about how to achieve peace in a time filled with conflict.
Sponsored by The Community Action Social Justice Coalition, McCarthy spoke about topics ranging from peace in Iraq to having a successful freshman year. The speech took place in the Kay Spiritual Life Center.
McCarthy has centered his life on pacifism and teaching peace to students. In 1985, he started the Center for Teaching Peace in downtown D.C. The organization's main objectives are to educate youth about conflict resolution and diplomacy by going into D.C. area high schools and "teaching peace."
McCarthy's basic ideology is that a pacifistic society can exist with the proper organization.
McCarthy's dichotomy of ideologies collides when his pacifistic side meets the journalist. However, instead of a contradiction, his ideas of peace worldwide seem amplified and centered around a sobering reality.
He told students, "Few of us are called on to do great things in life, but all of us are called on to do small things in a great way."
He invited students to get involved in AU's service programs or The Center for Teaching Peace. He also welcomed questions, comments, and especially arguments or debate.
One student questioned McCarthy asking, "How can peace exist when things like the Taliban exist? And what about Hitler?"
McCarthy's response was to refer the student to a chapter in his book entitled "What about Hitler?"
AU junior Sarah Doerrer had her doubts about complete peace in today's society. By the end of McCarthy's lecture, she was impressed.
She said that McCarthy was "surprisingly realistic and open to debate" and encouraged freshmen specifically to "seek him out."
Aside from his knowledge of diplomacy and international relations, McCarthy is also a devout vegetarian, a veteran of 18 marathons, the author of five books on the topics of peace and negotiation and has taught at four universities and three high schools to over 6,000 students.
Later, McCarthy sold autographed copies of his books to interested students and spoke to each one individually. After meeting him for the first time, one student remarked, "It is like he knew me. He was so personable and friendly."
AU sophomore Gene Fielden attributes his attending AU to McCarthy.
"I just thought it would be great to attend a school where that man taught," Fielden said.
McCarthy told students that life after AU would not dwell on the grades you earned but how they lived their lives.
"You can make A's here, but go out and flunk life," he said.