Speak Peace in a World of Conflict: What You Say Next Will Change Your World

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PuddleDancer Press, Oct 28, 2005 - Family & Relationships - 240 pages
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Words have the power to create profound healing—or incredible suffering—and yet even with the best intentions it can be difficult to build harmony and trust through speech. This pioneering text presents a four-part model for immediately connecting words with peace and well-being in relationships. Applying the principles of Nonviolent Communication to conversation, the book seeks to answer the two central questions of How can we express what's alive in us? and How can we make life more wonderful? Chapters discuss using natural empathy to ease stressful situations and beat fear, thus avoiding dehumanizing communication patterns, and instead seeing through the eyes of others to foster understanding. Examples of applications in education, correctional facilities, parenting, and the business world are given. This instructive guide teaches users of all types that it is possible to meet their needs and the needs of others in a compassionate manner, beginning with the very first words they use.
 

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Reading Marshall Rosenberg's, Speak Peace in a World of Conflict helped me to deepen my understanding of the "heart of mediation" and inspired hope that positive social change was achievable. Rosenberg reveals an abundance of practical strategies that can transform your conflict resolution practice against a background of profound insight into his theory of human conflict and violence.
Marshall Rosenberg has tirelessly traveled the globe mediating disputes and training practitioners in Nonviolent Communication for more than forty years. In this new work, he offers an overview of the "mechanics" of the NVC process interwoven with a tapestry of tales illustrating the "consciousness" of NVC and its real world application. Rosenberg also adds theory concerning the roots of violence, the role of language, "domination systems" and "enemy images", while offering unique strategies for dispute resolution used by everyone from Israeli kindergartners to African tribal chieftains.
Three themes delineate the book's structure. The first section of the book covers the "Mechanics of Speaking Peace", including an overview of the Nonviolent Communication process developed by Rosenberg. Featured throughout this section are exercises that invite the reader to have a direct experience of the potential of the process to deepen self-awareness and open to new possibilities for how we interact with one another.
In Part 2, Rosenberg focuses on "Applying Nonviolent Communication". First, he shows how the NVC process can be utilized for working on oneself to deepen a connection to "divine energy", a phrase Rosenberg uses to describe the "spiritual basis" of NVC. He defines this divine energy as "our natural life-serving energy", and asserts, "this divine energy is manifest in the joy we feel in giving to one another."
Rosenberg continues, "Unfortunately, many of us are blocked from that divine
energy by the way we've been taught to think". He offers Nonviolent Communication as a process for connecting with this divine energy, first in oneself, and then within the context of interpersonal relationships and social change. He covers the practice of empathy, a skillful process required to sustain connection in a mediation context. Rosenberg also explains the roots of violence contained in the language we have all been educated to speak.
Finally, in "Speaking Peace for Social Change", he focuses on effective strategies for facilitating social change. Including examples from the fields of education and intertribal conflict, he highlights our habitual tendency to manufacture "enemy images" which limit our capacity to be effective agents of social change. He shows how the NVC process can be used to dismantle these enemy images and build a bridge of connection, human to human. He also gives explicit ideas for how to use the NVC process in mediating disputes at all levels of human interaction, including a powerful and unique strategy to employ when one or more disputants resist coming to mediation.
Rosenberg offers practices for dealing with the burnout and despair common for
agents of social change, including the power of gratitude for building internal resources to sustain one's efforts in a world filled with pain and suffering.
Although some of the material in Speak Peace will be familiar to readers of Rosenberg's previous books, this book contains a depth and breadth not available there. Rosenberg conveys his material in a light-hearted yet deeply touching manner. Reading the book, I both laughed out loud and was moved to tears.
This book will be valuable to both new and veteran practitioners because it offers a rare insight and clarity into the nature of human conflict and its resolution, while offering specific exercises and practices designed to immediately implement the theory and make it practical.
 

Contents

I
1
II
3
III
5
IV
9
V
12
VI
15
VII
21
VIII
23
XXV
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XXVI
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XXVII
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XXVIII
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XXIX
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XXX
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XXXIII
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XXXIV
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IX
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XI
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XII
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XIII
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XIV
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XVI
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XXI
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XXII
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XXIII
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XXIV
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XXXV
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XXXVI
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XXXVII
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XXXVIII
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XXXIX
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XL
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XLI
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XLII
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XLIII
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XLIV
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XLV
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XLVI
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XLVII
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XLVIII
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Page 12 - I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.

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About the author (2005)

Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD, is the author of Getting Past the Pain Between Us, The Heart of Social Change, Life-Enriching Education, Nonviolent Communication, Raising Children Compassionately, Teaching Children Compassionately, and We Can Work It Out. He is the founder and educational director of the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) and travels throughout the world teaching communication and conflict resolution skills.

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