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ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR PEACEFUL LIVING
Masankho Banda and Kimberly Weichel
INSTITUTE FOR PEACEBUILDING
PATHWAYS TO PEACE
Table of Contents
1. INTRODUCTION .................................................................................. 1
Poem: "Pathways to Peace"................................................................................ 3 The Peace Wheel (PeaceBuilding Wheel) © ....................................................... 4
PRINCIPLES OF PEACE........................................................................ 6
Four Core Principles ............................................................................................ 6
3. PEACEBUILDING TOOLS & SKILLS....................................................... 8
21 PeaceBuilding Tools, Examples, and Stories ................................................. 9 PeaceBuilding Tools Outline ............................................................................. 14 Forgiveness ....................................................................................................... 15 Essential PeaceBuilding Skills........................................................................... 16 How We Choose to be Happy ............................................................................ 17
4. PRINCIPLES OF NONVIOLENCE ......................................................... 18
Essentials Of Nonviolence................................................................................. 18 Nonviolent Communication (NVC)--A Language of Compassion ..................... 19 Principles of Nonviolence from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. 21
5. CONFLICT RESOLUTION & TRANSFORMATION ................................. 22
Responses to Handling Conflict ........................................................................ 22 Working Principles for Conflict Resolution....................................................... 23 Elements of Win-Win Negotiation .................................................................... 23 Steps for Win-Win Problem Solving.................................................................. 23 12 Skills of Conflict Resolution ......................................................................... 24 Conflict Tracking ............................................................................................... 25
6. COMMUNICATION.............................................................................. 26
Culturally Effective Communication ................................................................. 26 Constructive Communication Practices ............................................................ 27
7. FIELDS OF PEACEBUILDING .............................................................. 29
EDUCATION: PeaceBuilding Tools For Schools ................................................ 29 Institute for Peace Building: Assembly Description for K-12 Schools.............. 31
Assembly Questionaire ...................................................................................... 32
PARENTING: How To Raise A Peaceful Child ................................................... 33 WORKPLACE: PeaceBuilding Through Business: The New Paradigm............... 35
Co-Creating a Workplace Conducive to Cooperation........................................ 41 Workplace Tools That Instill Peace................................................................... 42 Effective Peace Practices for Meetings ............................................................. 43
MEDIA: PeaceBuilding in the Media: The Challenges ....................................... 44
PeaceBuilding in the Media: Deconstructing Messages.................................... 45 Strategies for Media Reform ............................................................................. 46
PEACE LEADERS: Inspiring Action.................................................................... 47
Go For The Gold: Tips From Olympic Athletes................................................... 50
8. RESOURCES ....................................................................................... 51
Books On Peace ................................................................................................. 51 Peace Websites.................................................................................................. 52
9. APPENDIX.......................................................................................... 53
A Season for Nonviolence.................................................................................. 53 Action Plan......................................................................................................... 55 Appreciative Inquiry: Discovery Activity........................................................... 56
elcome to this guidebook that includes many practical tools for peaceful living.
This is an essential guide for educators, leaders, practitioners and parents, and for everyone who has ever experienced conflict in their lives, either personally, in the workplace, at school, in the media, or in their communities. We were drawn to create this guidebook because of the growing levels of conflict and violence in our communities, our schools, our workplaces and our lives, and also because few practical guidebooks were available. We feel that developing the tools to create peace in our daily lives is the most important step we each can take personally and collectively, and this guidebook will provide many concrete examples, stories, practices and techniques that we have found useful in our long careers in the field of PeaceBuilding. What does peace mean? The poem “Pathways To Peace” on the following page summarizes different ways of viewing peace. We see peace as both an innate state of mind and being as well as a dynamic evolutionary process. Unlike peacemaking and peacekeeping, the concept of PeaceBuilding “is the construction of a new environment – the transformation of deficient national structures and capabilities and the strengthening of new democratic institutions.” (Excerpted from the UN Secretary General Report, 1992, officially recognizing the emerging field of PeaceBuilding).
Masankho Banda www.ucandanc.org and Kimberly Weichel www.kimweichel.org, co-founders and co-directors of the Institute for PeaceBuilding, have done PeaceBuilding work in Africa, Europe, the former Soviet Union, the U.S. and with the United Nations. They are educators, social pioneers, trainers and authors. Their passion is to instill a new generation of peacebuilders, and to build the foundation for a culture of peace. Masankho was awarded the Unsung Hero of Compassion Award by the Dalai Lama for his global Peace and justice work. A native of Malawi, Masankho uses his talents as a dancer, storyteller and healer to encourage cross-cultural understanding. Kimberly has directed many international projects with the United Nations and other international agencies, including five years working for change in South Africa under apartheid, and five years fostering citizen diplomacy with Russia. She is co-founder of Our Media Voice: Campaign for Accountability, focusing on media education and reform. She is the UN and Global Affairs Correspondent for Positive Spin, a cable TV show.
Institute for PeaceBuilding
The Institute for PeaceBuilding (IPB), a project of Pathways To Peace, provides practical, effective tools, courses, training, mentoring and resources for enduring peace in schools, communities and organizations by two very skilled and experienced cross-cultural Peacebuilders. The Institute www.kimweichel.org/Institute.html offers unique ways of resolving conflict that give immediate results and build long-term conflict prevention. The Institute offers an array of programs and initiatives, and can tailor trainings and courses to the needs of the organization or community.
Pathways To Peace
A pioneer and leader in the field of global PeaceBuilding initiatives for over 20 years, Pathways To Peace (PTP) is an international not-for-profit, PeaceBuilding, consulting, and educational organization dedicated to making peace a practical reality. www.pathwaystopeace.org
We want to thank and acknowledge many people who have helped in some way with the development of this guidebook. First we acknowledge the support of Caroline Ramsay Merriam and her dedication to helping craftspeople around the world. We’d like to thank Avon Mattison, Francine Szymanoski, Marilyn King and David Wick of Pathways To Peace for their tremendous support and lifelong commitment to creating a world at peace. We’d like to thank Bonnie and Malcolm Wittenberg and Nancy Margulies for their support and belief in the project. And we’d like to thank our families for providing the safe and loving environments within which we can practice our PeaceBuilding skills on a daily basis.
We dedicate this book to all the current peacebuilders, including each of you, who are the ones that will do what you can to create a culture of peace. In particular, we dedicate it to the future peacebuilders, our children, who will be the ones to whom we will pass the baton to create a healthy and sustainable society.
Pathways to Peace
By Kimberly Weichel
What does peace really mean? It means much more than the absence of war Peace is about how we treat each other And how we live with our neighbors Peace starts with each of us How we practice love and respect in our families What we teach our children And how we listen and speak with love Peace is how we respect differences Whether it be religion, culture, ethnicity or perspective Diversity is the richness of life A strength to be celebrated and valued To live a peaceful life means many things It means forgiving people who you feel have hurt you It means learning from each situation And having a positive attitude about life It means respecting the environment Developing healthy relationships Living our values in our workplace And being peace in all parts of life It means having a healthy media That feeds us nourishing stories and balanced news It means having joyful work environments In which we can feel respected, creative and fulfilled Peace is a state of mind, a way of being It is also a path of daily action Peace is deep connection with myself and others Peace is personal, political, spiritual and practical May we each live in peace, with love in our hearts And understanding as the common bond That binds us on our various pathways to peace
The Peace Wheel (PeaceBuilding Wheel) ©
The Pathways To Peace Wheel is a model based on universal principles and creative energies, and on over 25 years of observing what is emerging in eight sectors of transformative human activity. The Peace Wheel is used (and continuously modified) in diverse ways, such as a working model for international conferences and organizations, PeaceBuilding symposia, and for the International Day of Peace. The Eight Sectors (or Pathways) are: 1. Governance / Law / Security Participatory governing systems, ensuring equity and justice for all. Rights and responsibilities. Empowerment of civil society. Security shifts from “weaponry to livingry.” 2. Education / Media Lifelong development of the whole person. Free access to all systems of knowledge. Literacy. Planetary Citizenship. Unfolding of innate wisdom. 3. Economics / Business Creation of commonwealth and well being for all stakeholders / segments of society through production, labor, finance. New communitybased monetary systems. Social responsibility and social indicators. Servant leadership. 4. Health / Relationships Harmonious interrelationship of the physical, emotional, mental, and soul levels. Resolving conflicts within self and society. Harmless human relationships. Partnership models. Psychologies of growth. 5. Science / Technology Scientific research, technological and noetic development for evolutionary unfoldment of all life. Inner and outer space exploration. 6. Spirituality / Religion Universal principles, ethics and values. Spiritual development through diverse practices in unitive Spirit. Higher understanding of Truth. Living the Golden Rule.
7. Environment / Habitat
“Living” systems and structures that integrate sustainable human needs with renewable material resources. Fulfilling basic human needs (food, water, shelter, etc.) and restoring the natural environment. Self-organizing, communitybased action plans demonstrating reverence for all life.
Co-creative, integrative expressions of the basic seven paths (sectors) of human creativity. Synthesis of humanity’s highest soul expression and evolutionary development. Building life-enhancing cultures of Peace for succeeding generations. All arts, media, communications, and cultural exchanges. Unity in Diversity.
2.Principles of Peace
Four Core Principles
Adapted from The Peace Book, by Louise Diamond
A Culture of Peace is based on four principles that promote trust, harmony & healthy relationships:
1) Community We come-in-unity first with ourselves, then with others, acknowledging we are in this together, interconnected and interdependent. What hurts one hurts all. Mutual respect, appreciation of differences and honoring the equal dignity and worth of all are expressions of this awareness.
• An Example: In Oakland, California, neighborhood groups are coming together to deal with the violence. They are realizing that the whole community needs to act as one. At a recent meeting parolees, parole & probation officers and people from the community came together to craft solutions for creating environments that would enable and allow the parolees to overcome hurdles that stood between them and gainful employment. They realized that if these barriers to employment stayed in place the violence would continue. More parolees finding work has resulted in less violence on the streets of Oakland.
2) Cooperation By finding common ground and working together, we can all win. If we think of ourselves as partners and share our resources, we can find creative solutions to our joint problems and build bridges across whatever seems to divide us. • An Example: In 2001, I visited Sierra Leone that has suffered from a civil war for the past 10 years. One of the more disturbing side products of this civil war is the use of children as soldiers. Children as young as 8, 9 and 10 are abducted from their villages and taken into the bush to fight with the rebel soldiers. They are taught brutal tactics and ways of killing and maiming the “enemy”. Working together, coalitions of churches, Non Governmental organizations and various youth groups are organizing to recapture these youth, rehabilitate them, and bring them back to their families and communities so that they can return to school and become productive members of their communities. There is a Peace agreement currently in Sierra Leone that seems to be holding. The beauty is that through the cooperative efforts of these different organizations, the young children will thrive and not become soldiers and/or criminals.
3) Nonviolence Respect for life and all individuals leads to a commitment not to harm others. We choose not to use force and coercion as a basis for relationship, but rather relate to the goodness in each person with dialogue and creative problem solving. Together we can address the toughest issues of our individual and collective lives.
• An Example: “Improbable Pairs” is the title of a documentary that was created five years ago. It chronicles the lives of a Palestinian man who lost four brothers to the Intifada and a Jewish man who lost his son. The two men in examining their lives come to the conclusion that they can both do more to stop the violence and therefore the loss of so much life. They decide to begin dialogue groups that would ensure a climate of non-violence at the community level would be the norm. These dialogue groups between Palestinians and Israelis would ensure that avenues for non-violent resolution of conflicts would always be the first and, hopefully, only option.
4) Witness Peace is a living presence within all of us. Like Justice, Freedom, Beauty, or Harmony, Peace is an ideal with a capital letter. It is encoded in us as natural wisdom, our spiritual birthright. Our job is to witness this truth by being the peace we seek, and helping each other remember to live the ideal of peace in practical ways every day. We do this by relating to the potential for peace in every situation, and to the seed of peace in each person.
• An Example: We each have a role in ensuring peace in our surroundings. Throughout their lives, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King (Jr), His Holiness the Dalai Lama and others have served to teach us the value of being witnesses to peace. When we each make the choice to be peaceful, we influence those around us to be peaceful.
Five years ago I spent a summer at a refugee camp in Croatia. I was working mostly with teenagers and pre-teens who had been victims of the siege of Sarajevo. Two of the teens, Elvis (17) and Dennis (15) were brothers whose father was MIA from the war. Their mother, distraught over the loss of her husband and frustrated by not knowing his fate, was taking out her frustrations on her eldest son. He in turn was taking out his frustrations on his younger brother. I found myself in the middle of this situation: two frustrated and angry teenage boys whose only solution was to react to every frustration with violence. I became the witness for peace. During every incident that happened between them or between any of the other teens, I reacted with a calm, yet strong presence. I encouraged and demonstrated ‘time outs,’ deep breathing, dialogue with eye contact, and restating and using “I” statements. I did not waiver from my task for the entire three weeks that I was with the teens. At the end of the summer camp I looked at Elvis, held his hands, and said to him simply, “look after your brother and your mother.” He nodded, knowing exactly what I meant. His task was to be the peacemaker for the whole family, just as I had been for the camp. When I returned to the camp the next summer, the camp director rushed down the hill to greet me. Barely able to speak she was so out of breath, she announced that Elvis, Dennis and their mother had the best year since their father’s disappearance and since being refugees in Croatia and she wanted to thank me for what I had done. I accepted her thanks and smiled. To be a Witness for Peace had been very fulfilling and now a family was living in Peace. You too can be a witness for Peace!!
3.PeaceBuilding Tools & Skills
The following provide examples, stories, exercises, and clarifications for each of the Tools.
Listening & Owning
1. Listening with empathy The dictionary meaning of the word empathy is: “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.” Displaying empathy creates a bond between the listener and speaker. 2. Restating what the other person said to be sure you understand and the other person feels heard In mediation the “restating” technique is used very effectively. However, when you don’t have the benefit of a mediator you can take the time to restate what you heard the other person say. This ensures the speaker that they were heard, and allows for a restatement if the communication wasn’t received. This slows down the exchange, which allows for tempers to cool and, as stated in #3, allows for “I” statements (conciliatory) to come out as opposed to “YOU” statements (accusatory). 3. Use of “I” statements This exercise helps us to understand the power of using “I” statements in order to resolve conflicts peacefully. You-messages sound blaming and accusatory. With an I-message, you can convey the same message without sounding blaming. For example: You-message: "You left the dishes in the sink again." I-message: "When you don’t clean up after yourself, I feel taken advantage of." . Pre-Frame! Before you begin the following exercise it is important to let participants understand that they are about to engage in an activity that may be uncomfortable and that they should remember that it is an activity and therefore should not be taken personally. Emphasize, especially if it is students K-12, that there is no touching at all during the exercise. Give participants permission to be as loud as they wish to be.
Step 1. Ask the participants to find a partner and stand or sit opposite each other in the room.
Then you lead them through this excercise:
Step 2. Ask the participants to think of a time when they had a disagreement/conflict with another person which they were unable to resolve – a parent, sibling, teacher, colleague – ask them to think about the words that were exchanged, voices that were raised, etc. Or you can give the participants scenarios that you come with as in Step 2a.
Step 2a. Give the participants a scenario: e.g. 1) Colleague comes late to a meeting with an important client and you lose the contract; 2) Kids K-12: Classmate steps on your lunch at the playground and doesn’t apologize and walks away laughing (or any other that you can think of in the moment.)
Step 3. Now tell the participants that the person sitting or standing opposite them is the person they had a conflict with. They should choose who will go first. They are angry and they want this person to know how mad they are. Using YOU statements and with the option to raise their voices as high as they would like they proceed to let their fellow participant have an earful. The person listening cannot respond, all they can do is listen. After about 1 minute call time. Then reverse roles and ask the participant who was listening to do the same thing for another minute. Step 4. Ask participants the following questions and any others that you might think of: 1) How did it feel to be on the receiving end of the tirade? 2) How did it feel to be the one doing the tirade? 3) Do they think the situation could be resolved by this approach? Responses will prompt more questions. You could also ask what the effect of the shouting was or how the use of the word “YOU” felt. Step 5. Repeat the exercise with the same partners. Same scenario, or if they came up with their own situation they could use the same one or a different one, only this time they use the word “I” more often and they moderate their voices. Allow about 2 to 3 minutes for each person. At the end ask them the same questions as above, and add these: 1) Compare and contrast the two versions: which felt better? 2) In which one did they feel heard? 3) In which one was the recipient able to hear the other person? 4) In which one was there more likely to be a win/win result? Ask them about the general noise level in the room - were they able to tell the difference between the two sessions? What was the difference? Step 6. To conclude this exercise, if it doesn’t come up in the debrief questions be sure to make these points: “I” statements are preferable to “YOU” statements because they leave the option for the other person to respond. With “I” statements you are sharing your feelings about what happened as opposed to mostly blaming the other person. When people use “I” statements it is not likely that they will raise their voices, hence the reduced noise level in the second exercise. “I” statements are more likely to result in a win/win result for both people in a conflict situation. Ask the participants to thank each other and ensure that they know each other’s names. 4. Pause before speaking, especially in conflict situations. Timing is important. With this PeaceBuilding tool ask participants to recount times when taking a moment enabled them to resolve a conflict peacefully. You can lead with your story and your participants will then be able to add their own stories. An example that you can give is this one: A parent has imposed an 11pm curfew on the weekend for their teenage daughter/son. Child comes home at midnight, and didn’t call the parents to alert them that he/she would be late. Even if you stayed up because of worry, midnight is not the time to hash it out with the child. Make sure they are okay and send them off to bed. The next day find a time to talk calmly about the fact that your agreement was not kept and give the appropriate consequence.
5. Use of Third Party, or Third Side In most conflict situations there is usually someone else who is around - which might be you. In a situation where conflict is beginning to occur, is there something you can do to safely ameliorate the situation? Safety is important because you don’t want to be hurt in your attempt to be the third side. You can solicit stories from your participants when they were successfully the third side in a conflict situation. Please see the story under Witness on page 7 for a personal story about being the third side.
6. Develop family/school/work rituals, such as meetings, sharing meals together and other social gatherings where you can get to know each other and check in regularly. This is an excellent vehicle for ensuring ongoing harmony, but it does take work to make this happen regularly. Be sure to use “I” statements during family meetings. Everyone can speak, even the children. Tell the participants that if they do decide to have meetings to air and resolve grievances, permission should be given to share freely, and once grievances have been aired and resolved, parties agree to leave them behind and not use as ammunition for future grievances.
Beliefs, Assumptions & Patterns to Watch For
7. Examine our own assumptions and beliefs before learning about other cultures. We all have assumptions, some from our culture, which can influence our ability to understand differences. Solicit from your participants what beliefs and assumptions they have about their own cultures and then discuss assumptions and beliefs that they have had about other cultures. Talk about the consequences of mistaken assumptions and beliefs. What were the consequences? We can learn from each other’s mistakes. Encourage sharing of these stories. 8. When in conflict, it’s important to look beyond the specific ‘positions’ of an issue to the interests and importance of the relationship. Address needs and interests rather than positions. Often conflicts arise and continue because we have taken a position and are unable to see or consider that anything else may be relevant or even possible. It’s important to initially have both sides state their position, addressing the need or interest it serves, and then have the ability to take into account options and viewpoints that may serve the greater good of the relationship. 9. See conflict as an opportunity and a part of life. Conflicts will happen even where there is love and caring. Given different backgrounds, lifestyles and perspectives, it’s amazing how much we get along. It is important for us to see conflicts for what they are - temporary disagreements that most often have solutions. Let us learn and grow from our conflicts. 10. Notice if we are playing games, i.e. victim/persecutor, smart/stupid, or parent/child. Notice when you are falling into a role, such as playing victim, child, or otherwise, and try to avoid it. Be able to laugh at your games.
Body Language & Voice
11. Watch body language – i.e. when in disagreement, be sure both are standing or sitting. Pre–Frame: This is an opportunity for a wonderful role-play. Ensure that participants understand this is a role-play and they should not take it personally, but rather see it is a glimpse into what happens when we are not watching our body language. Our communication comes from both our voices and our bodies, and thus it is important for us to pay particular attention when we find ourselves in a conflict with a parent, sibling, friend, colleague or boss. Set this exercise up in the same way as the role play for “I” Statements, only this time have the participants trade off as follows:
Exercise Exercise all) Exercise Exercise
1. One participant standing, the other participant sitting 2. Both participants in very close proximity to each other (remember: no contact at 3. One participant with arms crossed against chest looking very disinterested 4. One participant facing away from person who is talking.
Step 2. After each one ask the participants questions: How did it feel? Did they feel they would be able to resolve the issue with the above physical dynamics? What was it about the dynamics that made it almost impossible to resolve the conflict?
You can solicit stories from the participants to share times in their lives when situations such as these made it difficult to resolve a conflict they were having. 12. Watch tone of voice. It’s often not the content of what we say, but the tone we convey it in, or the energy behind the words. Reference the first role-play and ask them to remember the difference that both tone of voice and volume made to the ability to find a win/win solution. How often have we said something in a tone of voice that differs from what we really meant? 13. When angry, take an exercise break. Exercise can help reduce stress and release some anger. This is an expansion to #4. In this one the goal is to recognize that it may be necessary sometimes to allow the participants to redirect their anger. Taking out your anger on a treadmill, or a walk around a lake is much better then taking it out on the person with whom you are angry or in conflict. Exercise provides an excellent escape valve and is also beneficial for your overall well being.
Response, Attitude & Solutions
14. Watch absolutes – the words “never” and “always” put listener on the defensive. These are the two words that will most certainly stand in the way of resolving conflict. If you have time you can do the role-play from #3, #11 and #12, only this time have the participants use the words always and never repeatedly. Then have them do the exercise without using these words. 15. Don’t let conflicts fester – address concerns within 24 hours if possible. The more time passes, the harder it will be to resolve conflicts that have occurred. Even though #4 and #13 advise taking time and finding different ways to diffuse the anger, it is important to find balance. If we let too much time pass, we begin to ‘build a case’, often bringing in incidents from the past, and anger can build. Keeping current is very important in our relationships. In our full lives there is the danger that events as they actually occurred may become skewed over time. Try to resolve the difference in 24 hours, or if not possible then in 72 hours (three days), and definitely not more than 7 days. This is called the “24/3/7 Rule.” 16. Responding calmly in conflict can help to de-escalate the conflict. Sometimes it is much more powerful to respond calmly than not, and may catch the other person off guard. Yet sometimes responding calmly may serve to make the other person even more angry, and they may come closer to you and raise their voice. Stay your ground, back up, keep you voice calm and collected and with time the other party will also calm down and you will be able to discuss and resolve whatever the conflict.
17. Having a positive attitude is important. This is not about “I am always happy and nothing can shake me” kind of positive. This is about a grounded, measured positive where you have assessed all of your responses and decided that ultimately things will work out okay. Our attitude shapes how we see and experience the world. What we focus on grows. If we focus on peace we will achieve peace. 18. Make and keep agreements. What does it mean to make and keep agreements? Up there as one of the main causes of conflict is broken agreements. Remember the role plays in the early tools -child coming home after curfew, colleague being late for a meeting, etc. These are the things that make us angry and cause us to be in conflict. Make agreements and keep them, changing them only when you have conferred with the other party and you have each agreed to make the change to a new agreement. 19. Forgiveness. Forgiveness is a very powerful tool for PeaceBuilding and conflict resolution. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone what was done to you. Rather you can still find the action unacceptable, but you forgive the person for doing it, freeing yourself from that weight. (see Forgiveness article, page 15). Many times we have witnessed the power of forgiveness on individual, community and even global levels. Ask participants to share stories about forgiveness from their lives. Take time to discuss the impact of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. Here is a story about a powerful example of forgiveness:
Between June and August 1994, almost 1 million people were brutally tortured and massacred in Rwanda. As Rwanda marked this grim ten-year anniversary, they knew that something had to be done to ensure that this would never happen again. Only full disclosure of crimes, accompanied by unconditional pardon and welcome back into the community or the village would suffice. In villages and towns across Rwanda, they sat in Healing and Forgiveness circles altogether, including perpetrators and victim’s relatives. The Hutus responsible for the violence would recount what they had done and where they had buried the bodies. As each person confessed, he was welcomed back into the village and unconditionally forgiven. The village then undertook to ensure that the person had a place to stay and land to farm, even offering to help him build. In one such circle there was a very touching exchange. A man sitting in the circle explained how he had tortured his victim to death. As he recounted, sitting across from him was the victim’s mother who had been weeping through the whole telling. At the end of his telling the village welcomed him and they pledged to help him build a home after the rain abated. It was at this point that the miracle happened. The mother of the victim, who had just listened to how her son had been excruciatingly tortured stepped forward and offered her home as shelter for the perpetrator who had just been forgiven. The ultimate act of unconditional forgiveness. Forgiveness is a very powerful pathway to peace.
20. Look for a win-win solution. Be creative. Sometimes we can surprise ourselves when we step “outside the box” and brainstorm options in which both parties win. When we are creative and we can explore as many different options as possible, it’s quite amazing what can happen – even when there are seemingly two intractable positions. You may not get exactly what you want, but often it can be very close – and just maybe it might be a better outcome than you originally had anticipated. Take time to examine all your options. 21. Agreeing to disagree Sometimes we can’t agree with another person, but by agreeing to disagree, we reach some common ground.
Forgiveness in Rwanda
PeaceBuilding Tools Outline
Listening & Owning
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. Listening with empathy. Restate what the other person said--be sure you understand and that they feel heard. Use “I” statements. Pause before speaking, especially in conflict situations. Timing is important. Use Third Party or Third Side. Develop family/school/work rituals, such as family meetings, sharing meals together. Examine our own assumptions and beliefs before learning about other cultures. We all have assumptions, some from our culture, which can influence our ability to understand differences. When in conflict, look beyond specific positions of an issue, to the underlying needs and interests and importance of the relationship. See conflict as an opportunity and a part of life. Reframe conflict as “difference.” Notice if we are playing roles-- i.e., victim/persecutor, smart/stupid, or parent/child Watch body language—e.g., when in disagreement, be sure both are standing or sitting. Watch tone of voice. It’s often not the content of what we say, but the tone we use to convey it, or the energy behind the words. When angry, take an exercise break. Exercise can help reduce stress and release anger. Watch absolutes—e.g., “never” and “always.” Listeners hear better without absolutes. Don’t let conflicts fester—address concerns within 24 hours if possible [24 hours/3 days/7 days] Respond calmly in conflict to help deescalate. Maintain a positive attitude. (Focus on similarities, not differences) Make and keep agreements. Practice forgiveness! Look for a win-win solution. Be creative. Agree to disagree.
Beliefs, Assumptions, & Patterns
Body Language & Voice
Response, Attitude, & Solutions
From: The Peace Book, by Louise Diamond
Forgiveness is something that happens first in your own heart. You cannot force it. When you’re ready and willing to let go of your anger and desire for blame and revenge, then you can release yourself from that burden. You surrender that pain, freeing yourself from that weight. Forgiveness does not mean you forget, excuse, or condone what was done to you. You can still find the action unacceptable, but you forgive the person for doing it. When your heart has forgiven, you may choose to extend that to the one who hurt you. By letting them know you have forgiven them (whether they have apologized or not), you may make room for a new opening in the relationship. ß Notice what negative feelings you are carrying about some person (or group) that hurt you. Notice how carrying those feelings affect your mind, your body and your heart. Test if you are ready to surrender, or let go of, those feelings. Imagine being free of them. Can you do it, or do you want to hang on to them? If so, why? When you are ready, find a way to release what you are holding. Give it to God, to the earth, to the wind or water; give it up or put it down, or whatever language works for you. Just let it go. Breathe deeply. Feel the new space open in your heart. If appropriate, share with the person who hurt you that you forgive them. You may want to create some ritual of forgiveness, either alone, or with the other(s) involved. A simple ritual can give deep and lasting meaning to the forgiveness. The ritual can be anything you want – it can include anything from nature, a candle, a formal sharing of words, a feast – whatever lends significance to the event for you.
Above all, forgive yourself. Whatever you’ve done in the situation – even the negative feelings you’ve held about the other that have blocked the healing – you can also let go of. Forgiving yourself brings you back to center and to a fresh start with your own heart.
Essential PeaceBuilding Skills
1. Build my own self-respect. 2. Respect and care about others. 3. Ask myself for a non-violent way. 4. Pause – give myself time before reacting. 5. Trust my inner sense of what’s needed. 6. Don’t threaten or put down (even in a joking way). 7. When I have done wrong, admit it, make amends if I can, forgive myself and let it go. 8. Don’t rely on weapons, drugs, or alcohol. They weaken me. 9. Make friends who will support me. Support the best in them. 10. Risk changing myself.
How We Choose to be Happy
Intention – the active desire and commitment to be happy, and the fully conscious decision to choose happiness over unhappiness. Accountability – the choice to create the life you want to live, to assume full personal responsibility for your actions, thoughts and feelings, and emphatic refusal to blame others for your own unhappiness. Identification – the ongoing process of looking deeply within yourself to assess what makes you uniquely happy, apart from what you’re told by others should make you happy. Centrality – Making happiness the central focus in your life. Recasting – the choice to convert problems into opportunities and challenges and to transform trauma into something meaningful, important and a source of emotional energy. Options – the decision to approach life by creating multiple scenarios. To be open to new possibilities and to adopt a flexible approach to life’s journey. Appreciation/Gratitude – the choice to appreciate equally your life and the people in it and to stay in the present by turning each experience into something precious. Giving – the choice to share yourself with friends and community and to give to the world at large without the expectation of a return. Truthfulness – the choice to be honest with yourself and hold others accountable by not allowing societal, corporate, or family demands to violate your internal contract.
4.Principles Of Nonviolence
Essentials Of Nonviolence
Nonviolence is a positive force that holds the solution to most of our major personal, social and global problems. It is an inner, moral power against physical or verbal force. It is related to Gandhi’s Satyagraha or “soul force,” which literally means, “clinging to the truth.” Violence, by any meaningful definition, is a phenomenon that cries out to be repaired, something that in an ideal world human beings would not do to one another, or to the environment. If people realized they were hurting themselves along with their victims, they might be more likely to stop. Three kinds of power – we get things done by three kinds of persuasion: 1. Threat power – Do something I want, or I’ll do something you don’t want. 2. Exchange power – Give me something you want, and I’ll give you something I want. 3. Integrative power – I’m going to do something I think is right and authentic, and we will end up closer. Three lenses for viewing violence: 1. The Moral Model – In this model, we see violence as a sin (something that violates the laws of God) or as a crime (something that violates the laws of society). Unfortunately we don’t have a generally agreed upon definition to what sin or crime means – how do we define what is moral? 2. The Medical Model – In this way of thinking, violence is like a disease, and peace is a kind of health. Augustine’s famous definition of peace is “the harmony that comes from the ordered relationship of all the parts” – i.e., the body. 3. The Education Model – Here we see violence as a kind of ignorance, with wisdom and love as the solution. In this model, ignorance can be educated. Nonviolence is a whole being experience, which has much more long-lasting effects than those obtained by threat power. The escape from violence—the sudden discovery of the creative path out of the dilemma between fear and anger, capitulation and counter-attack, comes with a great feeling of release. Nonviolence takes learning and practice.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC)—A Language of Compassion
Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D., Center for Nonviolent Communication
Creating peace through our language
A) Communication that blocks compassion: 1. The use of moralistic judgments that imply those who don’t act in harmony with our values are wrong or bad: The problem with you is that you’re too selfish. She’s lazy. Blame, insults, put-downs, labels, criticism, comparisons and diagnoses are all forms of judgments. Often we classify, analyze and determine levels of wrongness rather than focusing on our needs. Thus if a partner wants more affection than I’m giving him, he is “needy and dependent.” Yet if I want more attention than he is giving me then he is “aloof and insensitive”. 2. The use of comparisons, which can block compassion both for ourselves and others. We compare our partner, children to others, showing how they don’t measure up. Or we compare ourselves to others, which can only reduce our self-esteem. 3. Communicating our desires in the form of demands. B) Observing without evaluating: We often make statements that might sound like observations, yet they have our evaluation and judgment mixed in. For example, we might say “Hank Smith is a poor soccer player” rather than “Hank Smith has not scored a goal in 20 games.” The following are evaluations, not observations: “John was angry with me today for no reason,” “Janice works too much”, “My son often doesn’t brush his teeth.” “For no reason, too much, often” are evaluations, yet we often call them observations. C) Identifying and Expressing Feelings: We need to develop a vocabulary of feelings that allows us to clearly and specifically name or identify our emotions that enable us to connect more easily with one another. Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable by expressing our feelings can help resolve conflicts. We want to express actual feelings, not thoughts about the feelings, or what others might think, i.e. I feel unimportant to the people around me, which describes how I think others are evaluating me, rather than my actual feelings, i.e. I feel discouraged. D) Taking responsibility for our feelings: We need to acknowledge the needs behind the feelings. What others say and do may be the stimulus, but not the cause of our feelings. When someone communicates negatively we have four options: 1. Blame ourselves. 2. Blame others. 3. Sense our own feelings and needs. 4. Sense the feelings and needs hidden in the other person’s negative message. Judgments, criticisms, diagnoses and interpretations of others are all alienated expressions of our own needs and values. When others hear criticism, they tend to invest their energy in self-defense or counterattack. The more directly we can connect our feelings to our needs, the easier it is for others to respond compassionately.
In the course of developing emotional responsibility, most of us experience three stages: 1) Emotional slavery – believing ourselves responsible for the feelings of others. 2) The obnoxious stage – in which we refuse to admit caring what anyone else feels or needs. 3) Emotional liberation – in which we accept full responsibility for our own feelings, but not the feelings of others, while being aware that we can never meet our own needs at the expense of others. E) Requesting that which would enrich life: Try to avoid vague, abstract or ambiguous phrasing, and remember to use positive action language by stating what we are requesting rather than what we are not. The clearer we are about what we are wanting, the more likely we are to get it. Since the message we send is not always the message that’s received, we need to learn to find out if our message has been accurately heard, especially when we are speaking in a group. Requests are received as demands when listeners believe that they will be blamed or punished if they do not comply. We can help others trust that we are requesting, not demanding, by indicating our desire for them to comply only if they can do so willingly. The goal is to establish relationships based on honesty and empathy that will eventually fulfill everyone’s needs. F) Receiving Empathically: Our ability to offer empathy can allow us to stay vulnerable, defuse potential violence, help us hear the word ‘no’ without taking it as a rejection, revive a lifeless conversation and even hear the feelings and needs expressed through silence. People can transcend the paralyzing effects of psychological pain when they have sufficient contact with someone who can hear them empathically. G) Expressing Anger Fully: Blaming and punishing others are superficial expressions of anger. If we want to fully express anger, the first step is to separate the other person from any responsibility for our anger. Instead we focus on our own feelings and needs. The four steps to expressing anger are: 1) stop and breathe, 2) identify our judgmental thoughts, 3) connect with our needs, and 4) express our feelings and unmet needs. Sometimes in between steps 3 and 4 we may choose to empathize with the other person so that he or she will be better able to hear us when we express ourselves in step 4. H) Liberating ourselves and counseling others: NVC enhances inner communication by helping us translate negative messages into feelings and needs. Our ability to distinguish our own feelings and needs and to empathize with them can free us from depression. We can replace dream-killing language with NVC and recognize the existence of choice in all our actions. By focusing on what we are truly wanting rather than on what is wrong with ourselves or others, NVC gives us the tools and understanding to create a more peaceful state of mind.
It’s important to express gratitude and appreciation, for ourselves and others.
Principles of Nonviolence from Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mahatma Gandhi’s Principles • On Public Policy:
1. Truth and truthfulness - Unconditional commitment to be truthful and authentic. 2. Ahimsa (nonviolence) in relationship at all levels - One must also accept the fact that all forms of violence cannot be totally eliminated. 3. Trusteeship - Each one of us has a unique talent; however, we do not own it but serve as trustee; our talent must be used as much for the sake of others as for ourselves. 4. Constructive Action - Once acknowledged and balanced, we must use our talents to empower others in creating social change as a whole community.
On Personal Policy:
1. Respect - To respect others and accept the interdependence and interconnectedness of all life. 2. Understanding - We must begin to understand the "whys" of being here, both for ourselves and others. 3. Acceptance - Out of respect and understanding, we can begin to accept one another's differences. 4. Appreciating differences - To move beyond acceptance into appreciation and celebration of differences.
Martin Luther King. Jr's Principles of Nonviolence
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Nonviolence Nonviolence Nonviolence Nonviolence Nonviolence 6. Nonviolence prevail. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. is a way of life for courageous people. seeks to win friendship and understanding seeks to defeat injustices, not people. holds that suffering for a cause can educate and transform. chooses love instead of hate. holds that the universe is on the side of justice and that right will
Martin Luther King Jr’s Six-Step Process toward Social Change
Information gathering Education Personal commitments Negotiation Direct Action. Reconciliation and beginning the healing process
5.Conflict Resolution & Transformation
Responses to Handling Conflict
Each of us generally has a dominant conflict style that has developed over our lives and is based on how we saw others deal with conflict, our own experiences with conflict and our values. However, behavior in specific conflict situations usually depends on the nature of that situation; often how powerful we feel affects how we respond. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Accommodating Avoiding or denying Aggressive or competitive Assertive or collaborative Compromising Appealing to a higher authority
Which style do you use most often? Why?
Responses to Conflict Exercise
Our beliefs and attitudes toward conflict influence how we respond to it. Read each of the following phrases, and rank each one from 1 to 5 (1 = the phrase with which you most identify and 5 = the phrase with which you least identify). 1. “When I have something to gain, I don’t hesitate to fight for my position, whatever it takes to get what I want.” ________ 2. “I often prefer to let the other person get what they want; I don’t want to jeopardize our relationship because of this problem.” _________ 3. “When I sense that an uncomfortable situation is about to occur involving me, and another individual, I try to change the subject or pretend that it’s not serious because, in time, it will probably not be worth fighting about.” _________ 4. “I respond to disagreements by trying to work with the other person, listen to his/her concerns, and find a solution that can resolve both of our interests.” ______ 5. “When I am confronted with a conflict, I find it easiest to find out what the other person wants, then split the difference. I don’t want to feel that he/she took advantage of me, but I also don’t want to jeopardize our relationship.” _______
Working Principles for Conflict Resolution
1. Conflict is a natural part of life. Even if we learn skills to deal with conflict, it will continue to exist. 2. We can grow through conflict. We gain self-awareness by exploiting our personal history and how we relate and respond to conflict. 3. We can all learn skills to become better at resolving conflict. We are not born problem solvers. We can learn and practice communication and creative conflict resolution skills and grow in our use of them 4. There are many alternatives. There isn’t necessarily one “right” answer to a problem. Through practice, we can learn the skills of generating many creative alternative solutions, which usually do not occur to us. 5. Feelings are important. Sometimes we cannot even begin to get at the reason (s) for a conflict until we deal with the underlying feelings. 6. Sometimes we can all win. We can create win-win solutions when we use our conflict resolution skills. 7. The process of creative conflict resolution is rooted in a deep sense of respect for ourselves and others.
Elements of Win-Win Negotiation
• • Values. Deeply held beliefs, convictions, ways of looking at the World. May change over time, but not during the negotiation. Not negotiable. Needs. The underlying concerns or interests of each party in a negotiation must be satisfied in order for win-win negotiations to be successful. Can be either physical, psychological or both. Positions. Specific proposals by either party aimed at fulfilling an underlying need, solving the problem. Climate. The feeling/tone of the discussion between the parties (i.e. friendly, hostile, cautious, polite, etc). Reframing. Moving beyond arguing over positions to ask the question. How can we resolve this so that both of us get our needs met? Alternative Currencies Other ways (besides the initial positions) that needs can be met.
• • •
Steps for Win-Win Problem Solving
Identify the Problem Listen with an open mind and figure out: Who is involved? What are the facts, and what each party wants. Identify the feelings Explain your perspective without name calling or blaming others. Don’t dwell on negative past situations. Speak for yourself and use “I” statements. Brainstorm Solutions Think of as many ideas as possible without evaluating them. Encourage creative ideas. Agree to Act. Agree to carry out the solution Select a time to evaluate your progress in carrying out the solution. End with something positive like a handshake or a smile.
12 Skills of Conflict Resolution
Source: The Conflict Resolution Network
Win-Win Approach o A new look at conflict and co-operation, and the possibilities for mutual gain. The Creative Response o Seeing conflicts as opportunities. Though conflicts are frequently seen as crises, they may also be regarded as an invitation for change. Empathy o Seeing the other person’s point of view. Recognizing the motivations behind apparently uncaring behavior of other people. Appropriate Assertiveness o Knowing your needs and rights and how to state them clearly. Cooperative Power o The difference between power over someone else and power with someone else. Managing Emotions o Handling one’s own anger and frustration. Willingness to Resolve o Understanding the role that resentment plays in preventing successful negotiation. Mapping the Conflict o Drawing up a map of the conflict that includes looking at the underlying needs, values, objectives and visions of participants. Development of Options o Creating a smorgasbord of choices from which participants in conflict can choose action more appropriate for both parties. Negotiation Skills o Creating suitable environments for working together towards resolution, synthesizing differing interests; working towards new balances, agreements, and contracts. The Third Party Mediator o Understanding the special role of the mediator and the importance of neutrality. Broadening Perspectives o Recognizing your view as one point of view and understanding the other’s point of view as also valid and necessary as part of the whole.
From: Resolution Strategies, 1996
You can use this tracking sheet when you are in conflict or have just experienced conflict to test how you best use conflict resolution skills. This is another important tool in your conflict resolution toolbox.
Explain the factual nature of the conflict.
What emotions or feelings did this conflict cause for you?
Explain how you handled the conflict.
Are you satisfied with the outcome so far? How might you have handled things differently?
Have you reacted in a similar way in previous conflicts?
Culturally Effective Communication
Communication is a basic component of everyday life that takes place in many arenas of life; schools, churches, businesses, sports arenas, our homes, etc. Think of all of the people you have spoken with today. How do you think your communications with them went? In order for us to communicate effectively with each other, especially when speaking with someone from a different culture, there are some basic tenets that we should be aware of. They are listed below. It is important to identify the belief systems of both participants in a conversation to spot blocks to communication that can lead to conflicts. See how the following might be relevant to you: • • • •
ETHNOCENTRISM - Inability to accept another’s culture's worldview; "my way is the best." DISCRIMINATION - Differential treatment of an individual due to minority status both actual and perceived; e.g., "we just aren't equipped to serve people like that." STEREOTYPING - Generalizing about a person while ignoring presence of individual difference; e.g., "she's like that because she's Asian -- all Asians are nonverbal." CULTURAL BLINDNESS - Differences are ignored and one proceeds as though differences did not exist; e.g., "there's no need to worry about a person's culture -- if you're a sensitive teacher, you do okay." CULTURAL IMPOSITION - Belief that everyone should conform to the majority; e.g., "we know what's best for you, if you don't like it you can go elsewhere."
E --Everyone has a culture. T --Take time to collect relevant cultural information. H --Hold all judgments; be careful about interpreting another student's behavior. N --Notice and negotiate differences in understanding of teaching and learning. I -- Involve cultural resources as appropriate. C --Collaborate to develop objectives and educational strategies.
Concepts Related To Bridging Cultural Differences --“ETHNIC”
Seven Skills for Working Cross-Culturally
1. Communicate respect – to transmit verbally and nonverbally, positive regard, encouragement and sincere interest. 2. Be non-judgmental – to avoid moralistic, value-laden, evaluative statements and to listen in such a way that the other can fully share and explain self. 3. Personalize knowledge and perceptions – to recognize the influence of one’s own values, perceptions, opinions and knowledge on human interaction, and to regard such as relative rather than absolute for more tentative communications. 4. Display empathy – to try and understand others from “their point of view,” to attempt to put oneself into the other’s lifespace, and to feel as they do about the situation. 5. Role flexibility – to be able to get a task accomplished in a manner and time frame appropriate to the learner or other rational and to be flexible in the process of getting jobs done, particularly with reference to participation and group maintenance or morale. 6. Demonstrate reciprocal concern – to truly dialogue, take turns talking, share the interaction responsibility, and in groups, promote circular communication. 7. Tolerate ambiguity – to be able to cope with cultural differences, to accept a degree of frustration, and to deal with changed circumstances and people.
Constructive Communication Practices
By Garrett Coan (Adapted from website: http://www.hodu.com/constructive.shtml)
Destructive communication erodes self-esteem and harms relationships. Such communication patterns may be destructive but, sadly, plenty of people fall into the trap of indulging in them. If we follow these rules and steer clear of the traps of destructive communication, we will feel better about each other and our relationships.
1. Communicate the entire message. According to McKay et al. in their book ‘Couple Skills’ complete messages include four components: 1) Observations: neutral statements of fact; 2) Thoughts: your own opinions and beliefs; 3) Feelings: descriptions of your emotions; 4) Needs: a statement of what you need or want from the other person An example of a Complete message: "The weekend is coming up. I hope we can go to the movies together. I would like to spend some time with you." An incomplete message leaves out one or more of these components, i.e. "I hope we can go to the movies this weekend." There isn’t anything wrong with this statement, but the first one is more complete and will likely result in the speaker getting what he/she wants. 2. Don’t use your feelings as weapons. Just describe what you are feeling as objectively as possible, not aggressively. Be as specific as possible and keep your voice under control. For example: Objective: "I felt hurt when you said that I probably wouldn’t pass the bar the first time." Aggressive: (yelling) "You are such an idiot! How dare you insult me like that!" 3. Use specific language. When you have a complaint, be specific. For example, "I’m upset that you left the food out on the table" is clearer than saying, “Thanks for the mess you left me." The first is less likely to produce defensiveness and leaves little room for misunderstanding. 4. Focus on the problem, not the person. Consider how different these two statements sound: 1) You are such a complete slob; 2) I wish you would take your stuff upstairs. Attacking someone’s personality or character, rather than a specific behavior, is different from simply expressing a complaint. A complaint focuses on a specific action. Criticism is more blaming and more global. It sounds like this: "You always screw the budget up. Can’t you do anything right?" Behavior like this is damaging to a relationship. 1) Criticism is destructive rather than constructive; 2) It involves blame; 3) Criticisms are global and tend to be generalizations (you always, you never, etc.); 4) Criticisms attack the other person personally; 5) It feels overwhelming to be on the receiving end. 5. Stop bringing up ancient history. It’s more constructive to focus on the issue at hand, not bring up past hurts. When you are upset with your partner and add past issues to the discussion, it can only escalate the conflict. It feels unfair and can never be productive. Resolve past issues don’t use them as weapons. 6. Watch out for mixed messages. Keep your statements clean, avoiding the temptation to mix compliments and complaints. For example, let’s say that you meet your friend at a cocktail party. You think she looks nice, but her dress seems a little too provocative. Straight message: “You look very nice tonight." Mixed message: "You look pretty. I would never have the nerve to wear that."
7. Pay attention to your body language. Your words are only part of the message you communicate. If you say "How nice to see you" while frowning, your message becomes unclear. Think about what message you want to convey and be sure that your body is in harmony with it, watching out for: Rolling your eyes, Crossing your legs and arms, tapping your foot, clenching your teeth 8. Pay attention to your emotions and keep from becoming overwhelmed. If you are calm, you are less likely to say things you’ll later regret, things that could be destructive to your relationship. Examples of ways to calm yourself: • Pay attention to your physical responses. Is your heart racing? If so, take a time-out. • Leave the room. Go for a drive. Do something relaxing. Listen to music. • Make a conscious effort to calm yourself down. Say things to yourself like: "I’m very upset right now, but it’ll be okay. I still love her." "Even though we disagree, we still have a good relationship". "We can work this out. We’re partners." 9. Resolve negative feelings. If you have bad feelings about your partner, take steps to resolve them. Don’t let them grow into feelings of contempt. When you engage in behavior (verbal or nonverbal) that conveys a lack of respect, you are placing your relationship in danger. This includes obvious abuse, and also insults, making faces, and name-calling. 10. Don’t be defensive. It is understandable to react defensively when you are in a conflict situation, but it can be dangerous to a relationship. Defensiveness tends to escalate the conflict and does nothing to resolve it. Some examples include: 1) Denying responsibility ("I did not!"); 2) Making excuses ("I couldn’t help it; traffic was awful"); 3) Ignoring what your partner says and throwing a complaint back ("Yeah, well, what about the mess you left yesterday?"); 4) Saying "Yes, but...” 5) Whining; 6) Rolling your eyes or making a face. 11. Don’t shut down. Shutting down is stonewalling or refusing to communicate, storming out of the room, or any kind of withdrawing. When a person is stonewalling, communication is impossible because he or she is refusing to participate. When it becomes a regular pattern of communication, stonewalling is very damaging to a relationship.
7.Fields Of PeaceBuilding
EDUCATION: PeaceBuilding Tools For Schools
“Building peace within ourselves and in our world is the most important thing we can do.” Anon.
These are tools that can be used in the classroom, on the playground, and among faculty. Some of them stand alone, and others can be used together. Individual situations present different solutions. These tools used well will provide more time for teaching.
Classroom Tools and Techniques
1. Ensure that the classroom rules include PeaceBuilding tools, such as listening, using I statements, respectful behavior, and not raising their voices. Make a chart with the students, posting it for them to see each day. Ideally the practice of peace should happen everyday. It is important that children understand that, like everything else we wish to do well, we have to practice constantly. The more we practice peace the more likely it is to be second nature for us to be peaceful in everything that we do. 2. A weekly discussion and check-in about classroom issues, as well as any concerns about the playground, bus or other school issues. If you look at the PeaceBuilding tools you will see that one of the tools reminds us not to let things and events that happen go too long before they are discussed. Encourage students to share conflicts that have arisen as soon as possible so everyone can remain current. 3. Have a number of peace stories that you can share with students from time to time and particularly when a conflict has escalated out of control. Prominently display and encourage students to read books that have stories about PeaceBuilding and community. Please see an example of an effective peace story on page 11. You might want to start a classroom library of peace stories and poems. 4. Another effective tool that breaks tension is a song. Choose one or two songs that you are comfortable singing or playing, preferably that have a peace or community building theme. You might want to start a classroom library of peace songs and chants. 5. An exercise to do periodically and one that is very helpful in the moment of conflict is to have students share what they respect and like about each other. This exercise will be very difficult for the students at first. In the middle of conflict it is very hard to think of what you like about the other person. With time however, the students will begin to understand that they actually have a lot that they like about each other and therefore want to resolve the conflict instead of allowing it to escalate.
6. After a conflict, institute a period of silence. During this time students are asked to reflect on what has just happened, to think about its consequences to their education process. When it has ended, ask the students to reflect on what they thought about.
7. Create and/or memorize a classroom peace chant/poem/song as an ongoing tool to remind all the students of their commitment to be peaceful and reduce conflict. This is different from the other exercise above. I recently returned from a trip to visit a Middle School in Dallas Texas. I talked about this concept to a seventh grade class. Most of the students in the class were on the Lacrosse team. They had a fight song that was all about crushing the other team and obliterating them into submission. After I left they decided to change their chant to one that was more positive, uplifting and peaceful. Even though they didn’t win more games, lacrosse was much more fun, the victories felt much better and incidents of arguments between the teams decreased considerably. Have your students create a song or chant together. It will be a fun activity that they will always enjoy. 8. Take opportunities as subjects and themes are presented to students to highlight effective peacebuilders and what they did to promote and ensure peace. In Science, Geography, Math, English and other subjects there are always opportunities to share about people in these fields who have been peace builders (see Peace Leaders on page 47). These are invaluable lessons for students to know that in the subjects that they are studying and consequently in the careers that they will eventually choose there have been numerous Peace Builders in whose footsteps they can follow. I will never forget the day that I learned that Arthur Mitchell started the Dance Theater of Harlem to prove to the world that African American kids could dance ballet, but also to give children of Harlem alternatives from violent street life.
9. Consider creating a peace certificate/medallion awarded to students nominated by their peers monthly, quarterly, or other. This award can have criteria such as the person who created the most peace in the classroom, or the person who effectively intervened (safely) to help ameliorate a conflict situation.
10. Remember that it takes 15 positive statements to counter-act one negative comment for either a child or an adult. We can never give our children enough positive words. Take time to give your students positive reinforcement whenever possible and encourage them to give each other positive words of encouragement.
Playground and School Campus 1. Consider obtaining a Peace Pole, and planting it in a prominent place. The school can gather there for ceremonies at various times of the year.
Peace Poles and information about the Peace Pole Project can be obtained from the World Peace Prayer Society. Address: The World Peace Sanctuary, 26 Benton Road, Wassaic, NY 12592 USA – Telephone: (845) 877-6093 Fax (845) 877-6862. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org website: http://www.worldpeace.org
2. Institute a peer mediation program for the students, so that they can have conflict managers at all recesses and other activities that happen on the school campus. 3. Include PeaceBuilding, diversity and anti-bullying as topics in the schools regular program of assemblies.
Institute for Peace Building ~ Assembly Description for K-12 Schools
Peace and Conflict Resolution
In the world today, it is important for us to teach our children how to be peaceful and how to resolve their issues in a peaceful way. It is natural that as human beings we will have conflicts, the key is being able to resolve these conflicts peacefully. The use of interactive role-plays and stories is very effective in conveying peace principles and ideas to students. In the Institute’s Assembly students learn: • • • • • • • • • The use of “I” statements in conflict situations The use of mediation to resolve conflicts The importance of eye contact The effect of body language The correct and incorrect use of language The importance of breathing or “taking a moment” Understanding cultural and other differences and their effect on conflict The importance of effective and active listening How to respect other people
In the Assemblies YOU can use: • • • • Interactive stories that have peace and non-violence as their central theme Songs and dances from around the world that promote peace and togetherness Interactive role-plays that are designed to illustrate the points listed above Stories about different peace leaders (Gandhi, Martin Luther King,Jr, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Harriet Tubman, Rigoberta Menchu - see Peace Leaders, pg. 47)
The value of these Assemblies: • • • • Students learn to understand the value of dialogue over violence Reduction of violence in the classroom and on school grounds Enhanced teaching environment that is conducive to learning Students become inspired to be future Peace leaders because they understand the role that past and present leaders are playing to promote and keep peace • Students develop a greater understanding and respect for differences
The Peace and Conflict Resolution Assembly is interactive and engages the mind and body of the students. Dance, stories, and role-plays are used to convey the message of creating a peaceful environment.
We suggest creating a questionnaire from the following questions that is given to all students after the Assembly, followed by discussion in the classroom. The following questions may help.
1. Did you learn something new about peace today? Write down one of the things that you learned.
2. Will you handle a conflict differently after experiencing this assembly? If so, how?
3. After experiencing this assembly, how can you be a PeaceBuilder on your school campus?
4. What did you enjoy the most from the workshop and why?
5. Would you like to learn more PeaceBuilding tools?
PARENTING: How to Raise a Peaceful Child
From: How to Raise a Peaceful Child, by Louise Diamond
Every parent wants the best possible life for his or her children. What are we to do, therefore, when confronted with the fact that our children are inhabiting – and inheriting – a world where violence is everywhere around them? Parents need to become ‘culture makers’ in their own families; that they actively and consciously say ‘no’ to the prevailing culture of violence as the environment in which they choose to raise their children, and proactively say ‘yes’ to creating a culture of peace instead.
1. Make the Culture of Peace Explicit in Your Family.
Children learn by what they see, by what they hear, and by repetitive action. The assumptions and norms of the society outside the home are often implicit, but are implied by the behavior and environment around us. Therefore, parents who choose to raise peaceful children need to clearly spell out what is expected inside the home. • Use gentle words • Use words instead of hitting, shouting, or hurting • Use put-ups instead of put-downs • Talk about what’s bothering them or us • Work things out so everyone feels good • Go to the Peace Corner when we have a conflict to resolve • Establish regular Family Meetings in which anyone can raise an issue bothering them using “I” statements. All family members are equal.
2. Help Your Children Develop Emotional Intelligence.
Learning to deal with his or her feelings is one of your child’s most vital life lessons. This is essential not just for living from a place of peace, but also for mental and physical health, and the basis for ongoing happy and loving relationships with friends and family. • When your children are very young, they don’t have the words to associate with their inner state. You will have to provide these words for them until they can make the connection themselves. Example: “I see you are feeling angry right now.” • As your children get older, you can help by reflecting back to them what it appears, from the outside, might be going on for them, as a way of inviting them to say for themselves. Example: “It seems like you might be feeling really angry about this; is this true? The child might say “yes,” or might correct you – “no, I’m not angry, I’m frustrated.” • You will need, from an early age, to signal that emotions are a natural part of the human experience, and they are not right or wrong, good or bad. Thus boys are not ‘bad’ for feeling sad and crying; girls are not ‘bad’ for feeling angry or aggressive. • Feelings are facts; that is, they are real for the person experiencing them. Thus a message that “you shouldn’t be feeling that way” will likely be heard as disempowering and discouraging.
Feelings, when expressed, will change and move; when held in or repressed, will find inappropriate outlets, grow in significance, and even cause harm to the body and spirit of the child. There are four basic feelings states: mad, glad, sad, and afraid. You will want to help your children find appropriate ways to express each of these. Children will get angry – how can they share that in your family in ways that are not hurtful to others? Children will feel afraid – how can they share that in your family in ways that empower rather than shame them? Children need our guidance and respect. They do not start out with much impulse control, nor a highly developed moral sense – these they learn as they mature, and with your help. You will want to monitor your own expectations – do you honestly expect your two year-old to naturally want to share his toys with a friend? Can she understand the concept of not taking candy off the shelf at the grocery store because it doesn’t belong to her? You will also want to help your child express what s/he wants without that being a demand, and realize that saying what we want doesn’t mean we automatically get it – it means we start the negotiation process. The hardest part of helping your children develop emotional intelligence may well be that no one helped you do it! If that is the case, and you yourself have trouble identifying your inner experience and finding appropriate expressions for your feelings, you may want to get some help. It’s never too late! A book, a counselor, a coach, a support group – there are many ‘helpers’ out there. Find whatever works for you, and learn along with your child. You can even share with them that this is something new for you that you will figure out together. Being honest with your child is one of the greatest gifts you can give to them. It allows them to also be honest, and to see learning as a life-long adventure.
3. Practice Good Communication Skills.
Effective communication is essential for healthy human relationships. A few simple tips for communicating with your children: • Active listening means giving the speaker, no matter how young s/he may be, your full, undivided, and loving attention. • What the speaker is saying makes sense to them; your task as the active listener is to understand how that is, not to figure out whether you agree or disagree or what you will say when it’s your turn. • Good listening for the content, the feeling behind the content, and the meaning of the content. The content is the ‘what’ of the message. The feelings behind it are the ‘how’ of the message (how does it make her feel?), and may take some exploration. The meaning of the content is the ‘so what’ of the message. With this kind of listening, you can give an appropriate response. • Ask open-ended questions (questions that go beyond ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response). You open the conversation and invite the speaker to explore their experience more deeply. • Straight talk works best when it is specific, not generalized. E.g. “I didn’t like it when John threw paper balls” rather than “John is bad – he does mean things”. • Straight talk works best when it carries no blame or shame. E.g.,”I am annoyed when you play with my toys” works better than “You are such a bad brother, always playing with my toys.”
WORKPLACE: PeaceBuilding Through Business -- The New Paradigm
By David Wick and Avon Mattison, Pathways To Peace
So many aspects of our local and global societies are troubled, and are challenging our sense of security, fairness, values, safety, financial well being and hope for the future. We live in extraordinary times with extraordinary challenges and questions. Together we must co-create the extraordinary answers. One of the answers is PeaceBuilding-- within ourselves, and within and through the organizations where we work. Building Peace and well being is a conscious process, and spans from our personal behavior and choices, to the business decisions and practices of the enterprise. Given its pivotal position in most societies around the world, business can play a constructive role in PeaceBuilding.
“Real Peace will require fundamental transformations of our own thinking, our organizations, and our whole network of institutions. Because of its central place in modern society, business will be at the heart of that metamorphosis – either as part of the problem or as a force for creative change. Business has become the most powerful institution on the planet. The dominant institution in any society needs to take responsibility for the whole. But business has not had such a tradition. This is a new role, not well understood or accepted. …Every decision that is made, every action that is taken, must be viewed in light of that responsibility.” Willis Harman – former President, Institute of Noetic Sciences; Emeritus
Professor, Stanford University; Director Emeritus, Pathways To Peace
It is time to develop the concept and practicality of PeaceBuilding as it relates to the business community, and assist in the evolutionary step toward taking “responsibility for the whole,” The goal is to clearly identify the strategies, practices, and values that will support us at work, and businesses of all sizes, to direct our resources in a more conscious manner. If we use PeaceBuilding as our lens and compass, we can learn how to provide greater well being, and cultures of peace, for all stakeholders.
How PeaceBuilding Through Business Applies to You
In the following sections, we will look at PeaceBuilding from two perspectives: 1. The first is from the broadest sense of the role of business in the world today. 2. The second relates more personally to you and your PeaceBuilding behaviors and choices within the organization. They are inextricably woven together. Individual roles in the organization go hand-in-hand with the overall policies of the organization as outlined below.
The Role and Purpose of Business – Part I To enhance our understanding of PeaceBuilding Through Business, there are questions we must ask ourselves. These questions may also be discussed in public, government, and business forums. Please think about the questions and answer them as best you can. • • What is the true purpose and role of business in the 21st century? What is role and responsibility of business in PeaceBuilding in the short and long term? What are the underlying problems contributing to non-peace which business can and should address? In what ways do present business practices contribute to peace – or nonpeace? What is the dynamic between business, money and peace? What needs to be done now, on an organization – wide, local, national, and international basis, to contribute to the greater well being of business individuals, teams, and departments. What are the new economic models and assumptions that call for a PeaceBuilding role for business? Can business and economies grow sustainably? What constitutes a socially responsible business? What are the peace practices now in evidence in business? What peace practices need to be developed for business to be a constructive force for society and all stakeholders?
• ß ß ß
The Purpose and Role of Business in the 21st Century – Part II What is the true role of business in the 21st century? It is no longer only about creating wealth for shareholders, but well being for all stakeholders. What would the world be like if the purpose of business was "Narings Liv" (Swedish business term for "nourishment for life"), to generate wealth to support the local community, and to train people to become entrepreneurs? This requires members of each business and organization to assess its mission, values, brand, markets and resources. Consumers are looking for such companies. The PeaceBuilding role is a new one, even though business is already engaged in sustainability and social responsibility in important ways. A way to look through this PeaceBuilding lens is using a Business Peace Wheel in which the spokes are (see graphic on page 38):
1. Sustainable Development 2. Sustainable Economics and Finances 3. Whole System Change 4. Conscious Management and Communication Practices 5. Ethics, Principles & Values 6. Social Responsibility and the Triple Bottom Line 7. Conscious Marketing and Advertising 8. Innovative Policy and Regulation
We must explore business within the larger system of the planet. This inquiry leads us to consider how business affects government, education, and the rest of civil society, and how business is affected by the economic and financial systems. How can business contribute to effect a whole system change?
The following outlines the thinking behind the segments of the Business Peace Wheel:
1. Sustainable development – What are sustainable policies that ensure continued success for the business and all its stakeholders? Paul Dolan, President, Fetzer Wineries talks about one aspect of sustainability, and that is organic agriculture, providing sustainability for the environment. This shift is one example of a step in the right direction. 2. Sustainable Economics and Finances - We have to ask the question ‘How much is enough?’ and reexamine the belief that more is always better. What if money was designed and used to build communities and enhance ‘all life’? What would businesses’ role in this be? 3. Whole System Change - Looking at organizations from a whole systems approach will determine what emphasis is taken, what questions will be asked. For example, Paul Dolan of Fetzer Vineyards has made many innovative changes in the areas of ecology - recycling wine casks, not using pesticides, providing educational tours, working with children on their organic farm, and exploring ways for the whole to work and grow harmoniously and support the larger community. 4. Conscious Management and Communication Practices - Ensures that the workplace/corporate culture is conducive to enhancing and acknowledging the full potential of all employees, and providing open and efficient lines of communication to facilitate reaching these goals. In addition, do the physical surroundings develop a sense of community? Is there a community room, or only blocks of cubicles? 5. Ethics, Principles & Values - How do organizations maintain the highest ethical standards and principles, ensuring that the values are in line with the highest good for all stakeholders? 6. Social Responsibility/Triple Bottom-Line - How do all stakeholders benefit from this business, i.e. do the business practices ensure sustainability for the planet, support the people (employees, community, customers, shareholders) and ensure profits? 7. Conscious Marketing and Advertising - Ensures that all marketing and advertising is ethical and has positive messages, aligned with the stated values, and accountable to the claims the company makes. 8. Innovative Policy and Regulation - Does the organization have clearly written policies, both internal and external, which have the whole community’s best interests at heart? Are there adequate safeguards and checks and balances to hold the company accountable? Does the overall mission statement clearly summarize the company’s values?
“Too many of the world's dispossessed and aggrieved view America as an enemy…America's business leaders must work harder than ever to ensure that their companies are good local citizens, diligent partners in progress and socially adept wherever they operate. In doing so, they will help ensure that the seeds of hate, wherever they are sown, will not fall on fertile ground.” Gary Hamel, Fortune.com, Nov. 2001
The reality is, PeaceBuilding in all its many forms will only be realized as each one of us takes action and creates our part of new environments and new cultures in our daily lives, in our work and personal relationships. It is time to discover PeaceBuilding as a compass. This is a powerful and dynamic peace, which is as engaging as anything we have ever done. We are laying the foundation for the 21st century; we are leaving our legacy! As it is stated, "We are the people we have been waiting for.” Getting Specific With PeaceBuilding Choices and Practices The following documents are designed to give you ideas and reminders of PeaceBuilding practices and tools you can use at work, and encourage others to use. The last document identifies useful practices for conducting effective meetings.
Co-Creating a Workplace Conducive to Cooperation
• Having integrity and honesty in all dealings, rather than pretense and positions. Building and maintaining a climate of trust and open communication. Integrating creativity, humor, and a spirit of play. Ensuring that people who have a stake in the outcome are involved in the process, and are recognized for their contributions. Making people feel valued, listened to, and respected. All people act in a way that includes others, projecting the message “We all matter.” Encouraging greater personal expression and fulfillment in the context of getting the work done. Allowing people to feel safe and secure enough to be risk takers. Demonstrating commitment to resolving disputes and problems in a win-win manner. Providing a work atmosphere that is safe and challenging, open and accepting, and demanding, self-empowering and empowering others. Expecting people to accept responsibility and accountability; holding others accountable. Creating a culture where people connect personally, and get beyond job descriptions and stereotypes. Promoting understanding and acceptance – people find the commonalities among themselves, rather than focusing on the differences. Fostering a fluid and flexible outlook, not static and boxed in. Modeling a sense of community within the organization and being a good citizen of the surrounding community. Encouraging people to be self-aware, alert to when they get off-center, and taking responsibility and work on themselves.
• • •
Workplace Tools That Instill Peace
ß ß Start staff meetings with a moment of silence. Employees develop their own ‘workplace altars’ – create their own setting around their desk/cubicle with items and pictures of meaning. ß ß ß ß Start team projects by focusing on best possible outcome. Encourage personal sharing. Live/model your spiritual values at work. Encourage people to be involved with community service. Provide some paid time for them to do so. ß ß ß ß ß Encourage participation and creativity of all personnel and stakeholders. Allow individuals paid time for daily meditation. Dedicate a quiet room for silence and mediation. Use a decision-making model that is inclusive and seeks consensus. Instill open, direct and honest communication, honoring diverse perspectives, with no gossip. ß ß ß ß ß Practice conscious listening and speaking. Assume positive intent of one another. Encourage/model caring and compassion between colleagues. Provide special retreats to connect and rejuvenate. Provide a ‘personal day’ for each staff member to do something supportive of his/her own growth. ß ß ß ß
Offer staff-selected personal growth seminars most beneficial for all employees. Provide other opportunities for personal development. Offer classes and retreats on inspired leadership and spirituality. Promote the use of participant generated ground rules for meetings and teams Other (fill in your own ideas).
Effective Peace Practices for Meetings
From: Pathways To Peace
Peaceful meetings are encouraged by the values, attitudes, and actions of the planners and participants. Suggested Roles for Meetings Convener: Introduces self, topic and facilitator, and gets things going. Has some experience and knowledge of subject matter, and a stake in the topic and outcome. Participates in topic discussion. Supports peaceful meeting principles and practices. One of the guides of the ‘tone’ of the meeting. Recorder: Captures group memory (‘notes’ or ‘minutes’) on flipchart, computer, or other means. Helps the group track and summarize key thoughts and agreements. Facilitator: Neutral to the meeting content. Focuses on process. Guides the agenda, formation and review of ground rules (meeting principles/practices). Helps Convener and Group create an atmosphere for dialogue. Ensures that the focus and time frame for discussions are clear. May summarize and move the discussion forward. Helps people hear and understand each other. Helps the group select an appropriate decision making tool that seeks consensus but encourages and respects divergent views. Suggested Practices for Peaceful Meetings • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Start with a moment of silence (calming, focus energy, open to spirit and guidance). Focus on a unifying, common purpose, or core questions. Look beyond positions and understand interests --accept the legitimacy of others’ needs and goals. Agendas, and ground rules can be helpful. Take turns speaking (can use a ‘talking stick’). Be brief, stick to the topic. Encourage full participation- make space for divergent views and quieter members and build on the ideas of others—use “both/and” instead of “either/or” Work toward balanced participation and representation of all stakeholders. Acknowledge each other’s strengths and contributions. Practice “win/win” in working through differences- work for inclusive solutions. Assume positive intent on the part of others. Observe and commit yourself to positive intent in speech and action. Speak from your heart, say what’s on your mind, create a space for others to do so. Share responsibility, keep commitments, be on time, follow through. Include all who desire to participate: women, youth, poor, disadvantaged, etc. Remember: form evolves, rather than being imposed, honor the natural cycles of growth in individuals and organizations. At the end, make time to seek feedback on the process and feelings in the room. Clean up your own litter (physically, emotionally).
MEDIA: PeaceBuilding in the Media: The Challenges
Since the media shape public opinion and public policy, it is important to understand key points:
Background: By law, broadcasters are required to serve the public interest. Television broadcasters have a unique corporate charter unlike any other corporation. Based on legislation dating back to 1927, television broadcasters have an overriding obligation to "serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity." This duty to serve the public before their own pocketbooks has been affirmed by more than a half-century of law in the U.S. Supreme Court, Congress, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Media Ownership: Most people don’t realize that only 6 conglomerates dominate all American media. Each of the firms now owns the major companies that create the content of the mass media, like newspapers, magazines, book publishing houses, and movie and TV production studios. Each of them has also acquired the national delivery systems for the programming they control or lease, like broadcast networks and cable as well as the telephone company lines, cable systems and satellite dishes. Media has become a fourth branch of government, but without the checks and balances. How can we have a healthy and unbiased media with this tight corporate stronghold over our central nervous system? TV: At least 98% of all households have a TV set – more than have indoor toilets, stoves, and refrigerators. The TV set is the most common fixture in our collective lives. The average person watches approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes of TV per day, and many people get their news from TV. The 100 largest companies pay for roughly 85 % of what’s on TV. Violence on TV: Without violent TV, there might be 10,000 fewer murders each year. By 18, the average young person will have viewed an estimated 200,000 acts of violence on TV alone. A recent 17-year study found a “significant association” between television viewing and later violence by both boys and girls, citing that adolescent behavior becomes less aggressive when they cut back on TV viewing. The FTC released a Report on the Marketing of Violent Entertainment to Children, citing that companies in the Motion Picture, Music Recording, and Electronic Game Industries routinely target children under 17, and that retailers make "little effort" to restrict access to violent material. Video violence: Researchers at Kansas State University found evidence that violent entertainment may affect children’s brains, and that watching violent images activated a part of the brain that stores memories of traumatic events. The study implies that the brain may not distinguish between fictional and actual violence. Lack of Diversity: There has been diminishing international news, increasingly less community produced news and programs, as well as limited perspectives. The views are not fully representative of the spectrum of views in this country. Also, there has been a predominance of white males as actors and newscasters. It’s time to hold broadcasters accountable to the public interest. A viable democracy requires an informed citizenry, and that requires a healthy and unbiased media.
PeaceBuilding in the Media: Deconstructing Messages
By Rob Williams, President, Action Coalition for Media Education
Below are five media literacy questions for use in classrooms and communities:
How do the media make you feel?
Commercials, political advertising, and other powerful media experiences operate primarily at an emotional level and are often designed to create certain sets of feelings and then transfer them onto the desired idea, product, or behavior. Asking young people to think more deeply about how media move them emotionally is a powerful way to help them understand media’s unique power. For example, both music and images are processed in our brain’s limbic system, the seat of our emotions. We consciously process eight frames of image per second, while media travel much more quickly (U.S. television moves at a rate of 30 frames per second; movies at 24 frames). Much of our media travels too quickly for first-time reflection. Using a VCR to slow down, review, and actively discuss media experiences help our children make more sense out of what they’re feeling. Beginning with emotions is a useful way to open up conversations about media’s power.
What kinds of realities do media construct? What stories do media tell? What are the “untold stories” here?
Start with analyzing advertisements, the lifeblood of our media culture, and, on a per second basis, the most expensive media of all. Americans daily witness as many as 3,000 ad messages, and every one makes a devastatingly simple claim - “to be you gotta buy.”
Advertisers, the public relations industry, and other powerful media makers spend tremendous amounts of time, energy, and money carefully creating media to influence the ways we think, behave, and buy. One way is to “deconstruct" or analyze branding strategies, like fast-food giant McDonald’s underwriting “Sesame Street.”
What kinds of production techniques & branding strategies do media use?
What kinds of value messages do media send?
All media transmit value messages. Asking children to consider, in an age-appropriate manner, what kinds of values media promote can help them build better judgment and develop an ethical framework for cooperative social interactions and pro-social behavior. Discussing a violent movie or television program in a supportive context leads to conversations about the nature of violence, as well as how our media tend to promote certain kinds of violence while ignoring other more systemic types of violence (like domestic abuse or poverty). Looking at messages embedded in fashion magazine covers leads to open discussions about self-worth, sex, relationships, dating, fashion, and other socially-relevant topics, many of which are completely ignored by popular media.
This question bears repeated asking. Most media are owned by commercial interests, and media companies are among the world’s most influential and powerful corporations. Researching questions of media ownership, production, and distribution is vital to fully understanding media’s influence. See previous article for more information.
Who (or what) owns the media you are consuming?
Strategies for Media Reform
Below are examples of strategies for media reform adopted by Our Media Voice: Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit organization [www.ourmediavoice.org]. Our Media Voice is part of the national coalition called Action Coalition for Media Education (ACME) [www.acmecoalition.org].
1. A Citizen Education Campaign will transform a sense of powerlessness into empowered action for change. Through a variety of media, including PSAs on television, Op Ed pieces in newspapers across the country and press kits, we will inform the public that they own the airwaves and that, by law, they have an affirmative responsibility to be engaged in giving feedback concerning how those airwaves can best serve the public interest. We are preparing a citizen’s media rights kit. 2. A National Coalition for Media Accountability that is truly non-partisan and recognizes that everyone has a stake in a healthy flow of communication will set a new national agenda for greater balance, accountability, and openness in the use of our public airwaves. We are inviting organizations across the country to join in the campaign, and our goal is to have hundreds of national organizations on board after several years. 3. Citizen Feedback Forums will be based in local communities and will hold broadcasters publicly accountable for serving the public interest with monthly “electronic town meetings” whose focus is the media itself. Held during prime-time and using feedback from a pre-selected, random sample of citizens, this will be an official forum for defining the public interest. We anticipate hosting three forums each year in different cities, reaching millions of viewers in each area. A summary of each forum will be presented to local stations. 4. Legal challenges will be considered, ranging from massively researched and publicly supported license challenges to the possibility of a class-action lawsuit against the broadcast stations on the grounds that they are failing in their legal obligation to serve the public interest. 5. Congressional legislation will be sought to reaffirm the public interest requirement for broadcasters and to establish new standards and mechanisms of accountability (for example, placing Citizen Feedback Forums in the law as a legitimate source of ascertainment of the community interest). 6. FCC regulations will be requested to establish clearer public interest standards for TV broadcasters and mechanisms for accountability for meeting those standards, including Citizen Feedback Forums. Also, we will call for hearings and testimony about the lack of public access to the media.
PEACE LEADERS: Inspiring Action
The following are profiles of selected international Peace Leaders:
Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso The Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, was awarded the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize to emphasize his struggle for the liberation of Tibet that has consistently opposed the use of violence. He has instead advocated peaceful solutions based upon tolerance and mutual respect in order to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of his people. The Dalai Lama developed his philosophy of peace from a great reverence for all living things and upon the concept of universal responsibility embracing all mankind as well as nature. Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan of Ghana is the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations. The first Secretary-General to be elected from the ranks of United Nations staff, he began his first term on 1 January 1997, and is now in his second term, ending on 31 December 2006. The UN was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 because of Mr. Annan’s strengthening organizations’ traditional work in the areas of development and the maintenance of international peace and security. Nelson Mandela, former President, South Africa Nelson Mandela is one of the most generally admired figures of our age, leading the revolution to transform a model of racial division and oppression into an open democracy in South Africa. He exemplifies a moral integrity that shines far beyond South Africa. After 27 years in prison, the most famous prisoner in the world was escorted to the State President's office to negotiate not only his own release but also the nation's transition from apartheid to democracy. He was inaugurated as the first democratically elected State President of South Africa, and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 “on behalf of all South Africans who suffered and sacrificed so much to bring peace to our land.” Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary, Burma’s National League for Democracy Aung San Suu Kyi, a Noble Peace Laureate of 1991, was cited by the Nobel Committee as "one of the most extraordinary examples of civil courage in Asia in recent decades." She is general secretary and leader of Burma's National League for Democracy and was placed under house arrest by the military junta in July of 1989 for her activities. Influenced by the legacy of her father, she began her public support of her country's struggle for democracy and human rights. She traveled extensively throughout the country in an attempt to unite the people and restore their courage in achieving their long-sought goal of freedom. She was loved and revered by the Burmese people.
Vaclav Havel, former President of the Czech Republic Vaclav Havel's acclaimed plays about the oppressive Communist rule of his native Czechoslovakia caused him to be imprisoned numerous times. He persevered as a strong voice for freedom of his homeland and a voice throughout the world for democracy. Havel became president of Czechoslovakia in 1989, and elected president of the new Czech Republic in 1992, leading the new democratic nation. He was awarded the prestigious Medal of Freedom, America's highest civil award. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland; UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mrs. Robinson became the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights at a time of great change. Under her leadership, the Office focused on existing and emerging human rights challenges, harnessing the energies of new actors in the global quest for a universal culture of respect for fundamental rights and freedoms. Mrs. Robinson came to the United Nations after a distinguished seven-year tenure as President of Ireland. As President, Mrs. Robinson developed a new sense of Ireland's economic, political and cultural links with other countries and cultures.
Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Robert Muller, called by Margaret Mead “the most brilliant man in the UN”, lifted himself out of the devastation of two world wars and embarked on an epic journey to become Assistant Secretary General of the UN. He has also co-developed a World Core Curriculum and served as the Chancellor of the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Dr. Muller is a Senior Advisor with Pathways To Peace.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the burgeoning civil rights movement. He took its ideals from Christianity and its operational techniques from Gandhi. From 1957 to 1968, King traveled the country and spoke over 2500 times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action. He directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., where he delivered his "l Have a Dream" speech. He was awarded five honorary degrees; named Man of the Year by Time magazine; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure. At 35, he was the youngest man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, contributing the money to the civil rights movement.
Mohandas K. Gandhi was born in 1869 to Hindu parents in Western India. He traveled to Southern Africa where he worked ceaselessly to improve the rights of the immigrant Indians. It was there that he developed his creed of passive resistance against injustice, Satyagraha, meaning truth force, and was frequently jailed as a result of the protests he led. Before he returned to India with his family in 1915, he had radically changed the lives of Indians living in Southern Africa. Back in India, it was not long before he was taking the lead in the long struggle for independence from Britain. He never wavered in his unshakable belief in nonviolent protest and religious tolerance, often fasting until fighting ceased. Independence, when it came in 1947, was not a military victory, but a triumph of human will. To Gandhi's despair, however, the country was partitioned into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. He was killed by an assassin at age 79.
Rigoberto Menchu was the 1992 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her continuing efforts for peace between the majority Indian tribes and the ruling Spanish-speaking minority of Guatemala. Rigoberto is a Guatemalan Mayan, who had to flee her homeland in 1981 after security forces killed her mother, father, and brother. After 500 years of resistance by the Natives of the Americas, Rigoberto stands as "a vivid symbol of peace and reconciliation." She remains in Guatemala. Wangari Maathai, founder Kenya’s Greenbelt Movement Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, the first African woman and first environmentalist to be so honored. Her Greenbelt Movement began in 1977 with small groups of women paid to replant trees in poor communities. Her message is that peace is founded in healthy ecosystems, access to natural resources, and democracy. She endured imprisonment and harassment for opposing ruling political parties, but came back to be elected to Parliament in 2002 and appointed deputy minister of environment and natural resources.
Go For The Gold: Tips From Olympic Athletes
Bruce Jenner Technique: A 5-minute morning practice: On his morning run every day, Bruce Jenner, an Olympic gold medalist in the decathlon, would envision winning the gold medal, setting the world record, and retiring. This powerful daily mental practice guided his daily activity and led to the Olympic gold medal. Practice setting your alarm clock 5 minutes earlier, and take that 5 minutes each day to envision your gold medal in life and the world you want to live in, then envision what you will do that day to make it come true. Marilyn King’s Olympic Minute: (Marilyn King was a pentathlete in two Olympics)
“When I am about to enter an important meeting or conversation, give a talk, or deal with a challenging situation, I think of a red stop sign with the letters S-T-O-P: S = Stop-- I literally stop T = Take a deep breath O= Olympian Think, which means envision a gold medal outcome that is desirable for all P = Proceed with enhanced ability to accomplish the desired goal. Just as Olympians prepare to perform, this is a powerful way to center and increase your chance of success using ‘STOP’.”
Mary Osborne Andrews: (Mary Osborne Andrews was a 1980 Olympian in Track and Field, Javelin) Review – Preview: “Every evening before I go to bed I review the day, learn from my mistakes, and applaud my successes. What can I do differently to ensure my day is more closely aligned with my ideal day? I then think about the new day, and preview what I’d like to accomplish on this day, not just what I need to do, but how I’ll be with others, and with myself. Each day is a new day and a chance to make each day as special as possible.” Affirmations for Peace: ß Peace within, peace between, peace all around ß Peace here and now, peace now and forever.
Books On Peace
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
The Anatomy of Peace, Emery Reeves The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness and Peace, Jack Kornfield Being Peace, by Thich Nhat Hanh, Arnold Kotler The Big Book for Peace, Ann Durell, Marilyn Sachs Children as Teachers of Peace, Gerald Jampolsky Dialogue - the Art of Thinking Together, William Isaacs The Different Drum, Community Making and Peace, M. Scott Peck A Force More Powerful, A Century of Non-Violent Conflict, Peter Ackerman, Jack DuVall From Conflict to Cooperation, Writing a New Chapter in U.S.-Arab Relations (CSIS Reports), Laura E. Schiller, Gandhi on Nonviolence, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi Getting to Peace, William Ury The Handbook of Nonviolence, Robert Seeley In the Footsteps of Gandhi, Catherine Ingram Is There No Other Way?, Michael Nagler The Nonviolent Alternative, Thomas Merton Nonviolent Communication, Marshal Rosenberg The Peace Book, Louise Diamond How to Raise a Peaceful Child, Louise Diamond Peace on the Playground: Nonviolent Ways of Problem Solving, Eileen Lucas Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About, Margaret Read McDonald Peacemaking in Your Neighborhood: Reflections on an Experiment in Community Mediation, Jennifer E. Beer A World Without The War: How US Feminists & Pacifists Resisted World War I, Francis Early
The following are a few of the many organizations and initiatives about Peace:
1. The Peace Company - The Peace Company fosters a culture of peace by making peace practical, popular, and profitable. The Peace Company offers a range of products, services, and opportunities for action. http://www.thepeacecompany.com 2. The United Religions Initiative – The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. The heart of URI is the global network of locally organized “Cooperation Circles,” people of different traditions who initiate interfaith cooperation. http://www.uri.org 3. Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy – Established in 1992, the mission of the Institute for MultiTrack Diplomacy is to promote a systems approach to peace-building and to facilitate the transformation of deep-rooted social conflict. http://www.imtd.org 4. The World Peace Prayer Society - The World Peace Prayer Society is a nonprofit, non-sectarian, member-supported organization dedicated to spreading the message and prayer May Peace Prevail on Earth all over the world. http://www.worldpeace.org 5. The Center for Visionary Leadership - The Center was founded in 1996 as a non-denominational, non-partisan educational center to help people develop the inner resources to be effective leaders and respond creatively to change. http://www.visionarylead.org 6. The Culture of Peace News Network is a global network of interactive Internet sites in many languages where readers exchange information about events, experiences, books, music, and web news that promote a culture of peace. http://cpnn-usa.org/ 7. United Nations of Youth is an organization in Holland whose mission it is to link up the initiatives for peace of young people/youth organizations in a global network of young peacebuilders, empower their capacities and increase their effectiveness. http://unoy.org/ 8. The Ploughshares Fund supports efforts to build global security in the nuclear age. Works to ban land mines, prevent armed conflict, restrain the weapons trade, cut Pentagon waste, clean up our radioactive environment, and fight nuclear terrorism and proliferation. http://www.ploughshares.org/ 9. Peace Brigades International (PBI) is a unique human rights organization providing unarmed protective accompaniment to activists threatened with political violence. Also offers workshops on nonviolence, conflict resolution, and human rights, as well as sends delegations to countries where PBI works. http://www.peacebrigades.org/usa.html 10. Pathways To Peace (PTP): A pioneer and leader in the field of global PeaceBuilding initiatives for over 20 years, Pathways To Peace (PTP) is an international not-for-profit, PeaceBuilding, consulting, and educational organization dedicated to making peace a practical reality. www.pathwaystopeace.org wethepeoples.org
A Season for Nonviolence
A Season for Nonviolence, January 30 - April 4, is a national 64-day educational, media, and grassroots campaign dedicated to demonstrating that nonviolence is a powerful way to heal, transform, and empower our lives and our communities. Inspired by the 50th and 30th memorial anniversaries of Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this international event honors their vision for an empowered, nonviolent world.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. Today, I will reflect on what peace means to me. Today, I will look at opportunities to be a peacemaker. Today, I will practice nonviolence and respect for Mother Earth by making good use of her resources. Today, I will take time to admire and appreciate nature. Today, I will plant seeds--plants or constructive ideas. Today, I will hold a vision of plenty for all the world's hungry and be open to guidance as to how I can help. Today, I will acknowledge every human being's fundamental right to justice, equity, and equality. Today, I will appreciate the earth's bounty and all of those who work to make my food available. Today, I will work to understand and respect another culture. Today, I will oppose injustice, not people. Today, I will look beyond stereotypes and prejudices. Today, I will choose to be aware of what I talk about and I will refuse to gossip. Today, I will live in the present moment and release the past. Today, I will silently acknowledge all the leaders throughout the world. Today, I will speak with kindness, respect, and patience to every person that I talk with on the telephone. Today, I will affirm my value and worth with positive "self talk" and refuse to put myself down. Today, I will tell the truth and speak honestly from the heart. Today, I will cause a ripple effect of good by an act of kindness toward another. Today, I will choose to use my talents to serve others by volunteering a portion of my time. Today, I will say a blessing for greater understanding when I see evidence of crime, vandalism, graffiti. Today, I will say "No" to ideas or actions that violate me or others. Today, I will turn off anything that portrays or supports violence on television, in movies, or the Internet. Today, I will greet this day--everyone and everything--with openness and acceptance. Today, I will drive with tolerance and patience. Today, I will constructively channel my anger, frustration, or jealousy into healthy physical activities.
26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64.
Today, I will take time to appreciate the people who provide me with challenges in my life. Today, I will talk less and listen more. Today, I will notice the peacefulness in the world around me. Today, I will recognize that my actions directly affect others. Today, I will take time to tell a family member or friend how much they mean to me. Today, I will acknowledge and thank someone for acting kindly. Today, I will send a kind, anonymous message to someone. Today, I will identify something special in everyone I meet. Today, I will discuss ideas about nonviolence with a friend to gain new perspectives. Today, I will practice praise rather than criticism. Today, I will strive to learn from my mistakes. Today, I will tell at least one person they are special and important. Today, I will hold children tenderly in thought and/or action. Today, I will listen without defending and speak without judgment. Today, I will help someone in trouble. Today, I will listen with an open heart to at least one person. Today, I will treat the elderly I encounter with respect and dignity. Today, I will treat the children I encounter with respect and care, knowing that I serve as a model to them. Today, I will see my co-workers in a new light--with understanding and compassion. Today, I will be open to other ways of thinking and acting that are different from my own. Today, I will think of at least three alternate ways I can handle a situation when confronted with conflict. Today, I will work to help others resolve differences. Today, I will express my feelings honestly and nonviolently with respect for myself and others. Today, I will sit down with my family for one meal. Today, I will set an example of a peacemaker by promoting nonviolent responses. Today, I will use no violent language. Today, I will pause for reflection. Today, I will hold no one hostage to the past, seeing each, as I see myself, as a work in process. Today, I will make a conscious effort to smile at someone whom I have held a grudge against in the past. Today, I will practice compassion and forgiveness by apologizing to someone whom I have hurt. Today, I will reflect on whom I need to forgive and take at least one step in that direction. Today, I will forgive myself. Today, I will embrace the spiritual belief of my heart in my own personal and reflective way. Today, I will enlarge my capacity to embrace differences and appreciate the value of every human being. Today, I will be compassionate in my thoughts, words, and actions. Today, I will cultivate my moral strength and courage through education and creative nonviolent action. Today, I will practice compassion and forgiveness for myself and others. Today, I will use my talents to serve others as well as myself. Today, I will serve humanity by dedicating myself to a vision greater than myself.
Building peace in our lives is difficult work and requires a plan of action. This worksheet helps you identify specific actions you can take to help further your own education and create change in your community and in our world.
1. What action am I willing to take to resolve an existing conflict? By when?
2. What is a conversation I would like to have with a friend, colleague, and/or family member to clear any unresolved issue or conflict? With whom, and by when?
3. I feel l need to learn more about...
4. What is an action I can take (through a leadership position, organization or project) to enhance communication in my immediate environment?
Appreciative Inquiry: Discovery Activity
Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a way of perceiving the world and interacting with others that positively transforms the way we think about the world and each other. It can be used as a whole system change effort, or an interpersonal frame of mind. The AI approach is positive: it looks for what works and seeks ways to value and amplify the best that already exists. AI typically uses four “D’s” (stages): discovery; dreaming; design/dialogue; and delivery. In this Discovery activity, our intention is get to know each other and begin the process of discovery. In pairs, we would like you to take some time to ask each other these three questions. As your partner speaks, your task is to listen and take light notes. Then switch roles and repeat the activity:
1. Tell me about a time when you felt you personally experienced a profound sense of Peace. What did it feel like? Where were you? Who else was there?
2. What was your part in making that moment of Peace happen?
How might you create more opportunities for having that same experience of Peace again?
Institute For PeaceBuilding © PATHWAYS TO PEACE
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?