( introduction continued from cover page )

The Choice Cycle for Peace has a clear goal: maintenance or development of peace. With that purpose, a person or group works through the six steps to identify choices and selects one that seems most conducive for peace. If the choice and corresponding action turns out to not be optimal, the process starts over in a cycle of problem solving. The first step of the cycle involves perception for seeing self and others. In this initial step, stances change to facilitate observation from different positions, especially the positions of those who are experiencing the conflict. Being able to see from another’s point of view is an aid in recognition of feelings that result from the viewpoint. Noticing and describing feelings aids identification of their causes. The second step in the cycle is recognition of needs. For example, recognition of one’s own need that felt emotions evidence may be to immediately use stress reduction. A thought that occurs in this step may be I am very angry and I need to calm down before I respond to this [extreme problem]. A further thought then may be I became angry because I need to feel my ideas are important when I contribute them. I need to let [the listener or reader] know that I would like my contributions considered. In recognition of another’s need the thought may be S/he is angry and s/he needs something. I will try to find out what s/he needs. Compassionate communication helps the recognition process. Are you feeling dissatisfied with…and you need a choice that will help you…? Or, I feel…and I need…. The third step requires reflection on the goal of peace, which typically involves fulfillment of physical needs (food, shelter, safety) and psychological needs (belonging, connection, love, responsibility, freedom, justice, etc.). Requisite in the reflection step is a clear goal of bringing about or maintaining peace. It is the criterion with which all choices are measured. The fourth step of the cycle is analysis. With the goal of peace, the options for choices can be analyzed for their likeliness in fulfillment of needs. In the fifth step, there is a decision to make the optimal choice. The deliberate choice precedes the final step of action. Enacting the choice occurs with perception, which starts the cycle anew. While acting on the choice, all of the phases of the Choice Cycle for Peace continue to monitor the effectiveness of the choice.

Use of the Choice Cycle for Peace is crucial for those in a society who have the privilege of being heard, which are those who have the power to not only speak out, their viewpoints are disseminated in the community. The limitations of this privilege throughout many regions of the world underscores the responsibility of the privileged to carefully make choices for the Greater Good---peace.





 click here for Choosing : JSP Vol.4 No.3 Table of Contents