The Sixth Grade history class was dismissed for the day, and as Billy was walking home, he began to think seriously about the lesson. It seemed to him that history was just one big series of wars.
When he arrived home he saw on television the latest news of wars, killing and riots, and became more concerned and perplexed, for suddenly, he realized that history had caught up with him, and that was living amid the same conditions which prevailed in the dark ages.
"Something must be done," he thought, "but what? What can I do to change a pattern which as been established throughout history?"
His father seemed to sense his son's concern and asked him what the problem was.
"It doesn't look like we're ever gong to have peace, Dad," the boy said. "Why do we keep on having war? We're doing to destroy ourselves if this continues. There must be something we can do; there must be a better way!"
"There is, son," his father began, "for peace is an individual responsibility. We can never dissolve the outer conflicts of our nation or world until our inner conflicts are resolved. True peace begins at home, within yourself. The trick, Billy, is creating peace within yourself; that's how you can help.
"If you extend peace to all the people you know and refuse to hold 'warlike' thoughts, or acting a hostile way to anyone for any reason, your influence will be felt, and it will set in motion attitudes of peace within other people.
"Examine your thoughts and feelings about yourself, about others and the world, for the inharmony, discord, prejudice and hostility that you hold within radiate from you, and affects the rest of the world. Start cultivating habits that create peace, in your home, you work and your neighborhood -- think, act, live and radiate peace. These attitudes and actions of peace can grow throughout the world but they must begin with you!"
All of a sudden the answer seemed so simple. That night Billy went to bed thinking of what his father had said and he began to devise a plan, a plan that would change the world. "If peace begins with me," he thought, "then it can begin with anyone. I'm going to start a chain. A chain of peace!"
The next day at school he told his friends what his father had said and of his plan. "We will begin with ourselves," he said, "and if each of us will invite three persons a day to joins us, and each of these will invite three others a day, then in seventeen days, we will have invited the whole United States!"
"The whole United States in seventeen days! But what about the rest of the world?" one of his friends asked.
"Oh, that will take twenty-one days."
And so they began. The children invite you to join them.