Canadian Centres for
|A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM ROBERT STEWART
A Message from Robert Stewart (photo)
Ladies and gentlemen,
I wish to share with you how you, as an interested individual and member of a larger organization, can make a difference in our Communities. I got involved in supporting Canadian Rotary Peace Cities following the Rotary International Conference in Calgary in June 1996. I chose to get involved because I felt I was at a time in my life where I should make a difference, I wanted to be a good example for my children, teach them well, and make the world a bit better place for them.
My first observations were that there is little or no communications or work between Canadian universities that have peace programs and other organizations with a peace mandate such as Rotary clubs; there is no simple, short summary available to bring people up to speed on peacemaking efforts in Canada or our Communities; there is a poor understanding of the relationship between peacekeepers (such as police departments) and peacemakers (a potentially important role for nongovernmental organizations); there is no central data base of information on peace and little information in bookstores or other media; there is no central network or contact list of organizations and people interested and/or active in peacemaking in Canada; and there are very few of us who are actually doing anything about peacemaking. In fact, Canada, despite its wealth, is relatively behind a number of other countries with respect to peace processes.
Peace, for those who need a clearer definition, is 'the absence of violence'. I have spent the past year researching and working on this topic. Let me save you some time - The Canadian Centres For Teaching Peace Mission is to help build a better world, and to advance the search for peace in the world; [Slide 3] Violence is the most pressing issue facing us. There is not a person in our communities who can say that their life would not be affected if we could deal with the problem of violence. The power of PEACE.CA is to change future headlines from "Violence Increases, Again" to "Violence Diminishes".
Why PEACE.CA? PEACE.CA is the leading edge communications and education revolution with access to lots of human resources, lots of monetary resources, and most important of all, lots of information resources and networks on the peace theme.
Why you? If you are reading this, in all likelihood, you have the personal qualifications, the vocational skills, the community service interest, a support infrastructure and/or a significant sphere of influence. Most of you are also successful, and they say we spend the first half of our lives being successful and the last half trying to make a difference.
If you have any doubts, the problem is not insurmountable. The most important thing that we as a group can do is to bring a management efficiency approach to the issue, to provide focus and a strategic plan. To help you with some food for thought, I have provided in the attached 'slide show' a short summary of some key things that can be done right away, and available on this web site is a list of pertinent publications to help you start "Building Peace in the Community". This is what I want to share with you. A copy is available to print out for those who share our commitment to do something. It tells why violence is winning right now and its root causes, it tells of a process for solving the problem, it talks about a Community Peace Plan, it talks about a "Junior Achievement Peace Program" in schools, taught by volunteers like yourselves. It talks about using the Internet to network and teach peace. There are a lot of examples we can follow - organizations such as Block Parents, Neighborhood Watch, Citizens on Patrol, Mothers Against Drunk Driving - that have been started by people like you and me, and that are making a difference. Every action, big or small, that you take individually or as a group or organization will help make a difference. I could go on at length to impart this knowledge to you and would love to discuss the pros and cons, but time does not permit this here.
Groups of people everywhere have been inspired by this remarkable program. For example, I am pleased to say Rotary District 5360 has established a District Urban Hope/Peace Plus Committee (co-Chaired by Edmonton Rotarian David Stewart and myself) to provide support and direction to District Rotary Clubs on this important issue. The Rotary Clubs of Edmonton presented a local conference in May 1997 with a purpose of building a common vision and inviting all individuals and organizations that have a mandate or interest in this area. In Calgary, we are developing "Partners in Peace" with area Rotary Clubs, the University of Calgary, and others. And I was very encouraged to learn first hand about the creation and activities of the Toronto and Vancouver Councils of Rotary Clubs' Urban Peace Committee. All this has happened in two short years.
I would also like to tell you about some activities being done through the efforts of other individuals like you and me. Coleman McCarthy, in Washington D.C., went to the public high school nearest his office and asked the principal "May I come in as a volunteer and teach a course on peacemaking?" Not only was he well received, since 1982 he has had more than 5,000 students in his classes and has developed a Centre for Teaching Peace. He found that children want to learn about peacemaking because they see with fresh eyes the world's violence.
Michael Shaw, in Chicago, looked for a model project to promote conflict resolution. He helped launch the 'Toward a Better Understanding' project. Through TABU, student exchanges are sponsored. One of TABU's objectives is to teach high school students strategies to resolve personal and societal conflict.
Tony Quinlivan, in Wagga Wagga Kooringal, Australia, has launched an ambitious world understanding project that his club hopes Rotary clubs everywhere will adopt. The Rotary Peace City project aims to unite people, and cities with a common interest through the promotion of urban violence initiatives, among other things.
Chuck Johnson, in Morris, Illinois played a key role in establishing a task force to deter gangs and violence creatively. A county "No Tolerance Task Force" comprised of community members, businesses, schools, and families, is battling the gang problem before it becomes serious.
Karen Spang, of Hamtramck, Michigan originated a district 'Turn Off the Violence' campaign after two local students were shot in a gunfight. That campaign mobilizes communities to reject media entertainment that promotes violence and focus instead on community- and family-oriented activities.
Mark Genuis, in Calgary, had the insight to understand that the family unit has been undervalued, underestimated and misunderstood. In 1994 he left a comfortable job to establish the National Foundation for Family Research and Education, dedicated to the study and support of families because healthy families produce healthy communities and can break the cycle of violence.
I have talked to many of these people. They are special - not that they are rich, or famous, or powerful. They are special because they chose to do something. It is time to add more examples to this list of heros.
I wish to provide some specific examples, of how you might get involved, to get your creative juices going. You need to tailor a program to your own situation or come up with other creative ideas. For example, you could:
I would like to conclude with the most important single thing I can tell you:
The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything.
If you wish to learn more, and I sincerely hope you do, please contact myself ( stewartr [at] peace.ca ) or one of the other organizations listed on this web site. A Canadian Peace Conference is planned to fast track development of this web site and Peace Partnerships. If you would like to use the presentation for
If you support what we are doing, please let us know - if you think we should be doing something different, give us feedback. I would be pleased to talk to anyone who wishes. I feel so passionate about this, I would do anything to help you do something. I ask only one thing - that you please share this information with others, for our children's sake.
Part 1: Many things the average person can do to create a more peaceful world
Part 2: Write a Book Project
Part 3: The Power of One
Part 4: Gene Sharpe's 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action http://www.aeinstein.org/198_methods.html
Part 5: Groundwork for Peace - Violence is a disease, we have an Antidote (click on the link to read the article)
Part 6: 50 Ways to build World Peace - a beautiful, poster provided by Laurie Phillips of Dorset, England (suitable for printing, I laminated several and distribute them widely)
Part 7: The Peace Pie Chart - Conceptual Map #1 - a beautiful poster providing an a big picture overview, or conceptual map, of Peace and its various key elements.
Part 8: Conceptual Map #2 - the evolution of an even bigger picture overview of "The Path to Peace"
"Where do I start?" - response to this frequently asked question
A Message to Our Readers (May 15, 2006):
I have been taking a sabbatical for a period of reflection on
how I can better serve the Peace Community (by working smarter, not
). In the process, I have
been undergoing a significant personal transformation – a journey that
I will be pleased to share with you over the next few months.
In the process of seeking peace, we are likely to give
ourselves anxiety, pain and even depression – your mind can become a
war zone. Stress is the
signal that it’s time to question your own thinking.
Seeking peace is how you lose the awareness of peace.
But you can only lose the awareness of it, not the state.
That’s not an option, because peace is what we all are.
Look around you and you will find peace in many ways, if you look
hard enough – celebrate them. The
spiritual secret that applies here is this: what
you seek, you already are.
The U.N. Culture of Peace Program calls for the
transformation of all institutions from a culture of violence to a
Culture of Peace and Non-violence. The
first ‘institution’ that must go through this transformation is
ourselves. As Gandhi
instructed us, “be the change you seek in the world”.
In a sense, our old selves (our selves raised in a culture of
violence and reflecting it) must die in order that our new selves - our
selves living a Culture of Peace and Non-violence – may be born.
We must truly be “Renaissance Men and Women”.
I suspect many of you are also labouring with your rebirth.
Each of us has to find the actual experience of
peace and calmness on our own. The secret for doing that is to free the
mind. When it is free, the mind settles down. It gives up its
restlessness and becomes a channel for peace.
As the UNESCO motto proclaims, “Since wars begin in the minds
of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be
constructed.” This applies
to us as well as “them”.
I invite you to join me in this personal transformation.
A major goal over the next period will be to strengthen our
section of the www.peace.ca web site
on Building Peace at the Individual Level.
I will share with you some of the key books that I am reading,
and their highlights. They
I fully believe that the people who need the most peace
education are peace educators, peace leaders and peacebuilders.
One of our major goals at Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace is
to help with the necessary personal transformations – to accelerate
the personal growth and wisdom of all peace educators, leaders and
builders, by supplying helpful information.
Since everyone is a potential peace educator, leader and builder
– this means engaging everyone. It
truly takes an astronomical vision to make a global difference.
I am very grateful that I have found my purpose in life:
peace education. We all have
our own unique talents to bring to peace education – I am pleased to
bring my unique leadership, management and business talents to bear on
this most worthwhile cause. By
teaching peace and wisdom, our students can transform their lives and
make a difference teaching peace and wisdom.
Today, start to act as if your influence extends everywhere
– you should know that it does.
Happy transformations, and remain centered no matter what
THE WISDOM I AM LIVING
By Bob Stewart
Higher Purpose - work for the
welfare of the whole world, by significantly reducing the human cost of
direct and indirect violence through peace education, raising social
intelligence, true wisdom and self actualization throughout the world.
Higher Purpose - work for the welfare of the whole world, by significantly reducing the human cost of direct and indirect violence through peace education, raising social intelligence, true wisdom and self actualization throughout the world.
Communion – communicate and develop relationships with everyone else in the world, to notify the world’s farthest reaches of the purpose and intention (above).
Awareness – listen to understand, everything that impinges on the purpose (above). Meditate on it, adapt, remain flexible, respond accordingly.
Acceptance – There are no enemies. Understand my values and others’ values, and communicate with myself and others accordingly. I am a genius and they are also. Recognize every one as equally important and interdependent.
Creativity – think thoughts never thought before, ‘dance’ in a way never seen before. Continue to solve the peace ‘problem’ every day, in creative new ways.
Being – obey the universal cycle of rest and activity. Live a balanced life. Sleep on it. Meditate on it. Develop routines and cycles. Live the Nature of Peace, and Peace of Nature.
Efficiency – work smarter, not harder. Prioritize. Seek value, including profit in what is done. Benefits must significantly exceed all costs. Stop doing things that are not significant contributors to the purpose.
Bonding – know that we are all fundamentally the same. There are no outcasts. Extend the hand of friendship to all.
Giving – give and receive automatically, without expectation, without hoarding. Give students of peace your time.
Immortality – pass on your knowledge, experience and talents to others – and become immortal by leaving a legacy of peace education that will keep on giving when you pass on to another plain. Be remembered.
NEWS ARTICLES ON BOB STEWART
Business urged to 'get involved' - Okotoks chartered accountant Bob Stewart says the whole community must pull together to fight violence. November 2000 in The Business Edge
Profit of Peace - a profile in the Chartered Accountants' Magazine, January 2003
1969 - 1973 McMaster University
1973 - 1975 Institute of Chartered Accountants
1988 - 1989 Institute of Management Consultants
Past Member of the Board of Governors
Institute of Chartered Accountants of the Northwest Territories, Past President
Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario
Institute, Management Consultants of Alberta
Junior Achievement NWT, Founding Board Member
Air Cadet League, NWT & Yukon, P/Board Member
Yellowknife Chamber Commerce, P/Board Member
Rotary Club, Chair of the District Committee on Building Peace in the Community
SUMMARY OF EXPERIENCE:
1990 - Present Robert Stewart Chartered Accountant/ Management Consultants, Proprietor
1987 - 1990 MacKay & Partners, Chartered Accountants, Partner (Managing Partner, Yellowknife office 1989-1990).
1986 - 1990 MacKay, Stewart Management Consultants Ltd., President and founding shareholder.
1982 - 1986 Government of the Northwest Territories, Deputy Secretary to the Financial Management Board; reporting to the Senior Financial Officer and the Chairman of the Financial Management Board/Minister of Finance.
1985 - 1986 Institute of Chartered Accountants of the & 1988 - 1989 Northwest Territories, President.
1981 - 1982 Fisher Oil & Gas Corporation, Vice-President Finance and Secretary-Treasurer, Director.
1979 - 1981 Bata Ltd., reporting to Director of Admin., Director Finance, Chief Executive.
1977 - 1978 The Proctor & Redfern Group, reporting to Manager of Finance, Board of Directors.
1973 - 1976 Thorne Riddell & Company (now KPMG Chartered Accountants) - Supervisor.
DETAILS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:
1990 - Present As proprietor of Robert Stewart Management Consultants, undertakes management consulting projects for a wide variety of public & private sector clients. The company has special expertise in government & industry financial and human resource management systems and training. [A summary of major projects supervised and/or completed is attached.]
1987 - 1990 As a Partner of MacKay & Partners, Chartered Accountants was responsible for the daily supervision of audit and accounting staff and thequality control review of audited financial statements. Managing Partner of the Yellowknife office from 1989-1990, responsible for the leadership, management and financial performance of the Northwest Territories operations (including a staff complement of twenty-five & revenues approximately $2,000,000 from audit, accounting, tax, computer services and management consulting).
1986 - 1990 As President and founder of MacKay, Stewart Management Consultants Ltd was responsible for the day to day operations ensuring client-centered service to the Northern community.
1982 - 1986 Deputy Secretary to the Financial Management Board,
responsible for the day-to-day management of the Financial Management Secretariat, staff
of twenty and a budget of $1,300,000. Acting Senior Finance Officer in his absence. The
budget of the Government of the Northwest Territories is in excess of $700,000,000.
1985 - 1986 As President of the Institute of Chartered & 1988 - 1989 Accountants of the Northwest Territories, was member of the Board of Governors of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and authored a long-range strategic planning discussion paper focussing on the goals, objectives and workplan of the NWT Institute. As a result, the Institute is undertaking a comprehensive review of its northern objectives, aimed at identifying what services are a priority to the public. The Institute was established in 1977 as a governing body for chartered accountants doing business in the territories.
1981 - 1982 Chief Financial Officer for Fisher Oil & Gas Corporation, a publicly traded, two year old junior oil and gas company employing 110 people with activities concentrated in the United States (revenues approximately $10,000,000 from contract drilling, production revenue and sale of properties).
1979 - 1981 Manager of Systems and Procedures for the Bata Shoe Organization, a private multi-national which employs 90,000 people in 150 companies in 90 countries with sales of $2 billion.
1977 - 1978 As a Financial Consultant for the Proctor & Redfern Group, responsible for matters relating to accounting and financial tasks of the company including financial control of the management information system. Undertakes management consulting assignments and offers general management advisory services.
1973 - 1976 Supervisor with Thorne Riddell & Co., Toronto (now KPMG Chartered Accountants/Management Consultants). Exposure involved field audit, financial reporting, filing of tax and Anti-Inflation Board returns, reviews of electronic data processing systems and installations, management consulting engagements and purchase investigations. Thorne Riddell's local, national and international clientele range from small to very large and include the public and private sectors.
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Last update: 22 Feb 2009