Volume 1, Number 3 2006
Violence, in its various forms, shows us our opportunities for change. It reveals inappropriate reactions to conflicts and alerts us to the need for transforming how we are responding to conditions of life, all LIFE. Our connectedness in responding to conflicts of any type, including those that degenerated to violence, is a great advantage in peace development. Like observing the delicate butterfly as it changes its mode from crawling to flying, we watch and follow the peacemakers who transform violent situations. We see that their actions have been as varied as the colorful patterns of nature, and we discern that alteration of behaviors which precipitated violence is prime in peacemaking. Occasionally, demonstrating the will to change sufficed for building peace on a foundation of trust. However, we learn from history that lasting peace has resulted from enacted and maintained agreements to change.
This edition of the Journal of Stellar Peacemaking reviews process changes that have been valuable in three contexts of violence; intrapersonal, interpersonal and systemic. For example, when changing the structures in a society, such as eliminating domination of one group over another, systemic violence ceased. By altering the unproductive behaviors with other people, individuals and groups found ways to meet unmet needs and resolve their shared conflict. Changing our habits of self-management is crucial in successful resolution of intrapersonal conflict. Knowing that world peace begins within ourselves, we find our starting place easy to access, although challenging to change, because we are habitual beings.
Norms of habit that we have developed can be transformed. When we have the blessing of choice, we can begin process change by committing to use peace-building norms. Creation of new personal processes for interacting with ourselves as well as with others is not easy. Many find such transformation most successful through aids. One aid has been making a commitment statement and then sharing it widely, which enables support from others in the change process. Another aid has been spending time with others who have developed such interaction skills. What are these skills which foster peaceful interaction? We share here a short list of processes in which they were recognizable.
Calming when facing anxiety.
Pardoning and forgiving those whose behaviors inappropriately expressed their unmet needs.
Searching for, and recognizing, unfulfilled needs where violence is evident.
Listening to and clarifying other’s perceptions, expressed in any type of discourse.
Unifying by recognizing and including all life connected in a situation.
Learning to understand difference in beliefs and practices.
Courageously rejecting violence as response to conflict.
Partnering in problem solving to eliminate imbalance from domination.
Envisioning and working for peace where it has been lost or threatened.
Learning, teaching and celebrating peace processes.
The contents of this edition demonstrate some of the many types of process changes that have been valuable in bringing about or maintaining peace. We invite more contributions to this edition, and others that we will provide in the future to show how peace has been developed.
Author: Dr. M. Andrew Murry
Author: Kevin Cordi
Author: Kelly Bryson MFT
Author: Steve Sharra, Ph.D.
Composer: Bob Blue
Artist: Anne Finney
Linda K. Williams - Andy Murry
Artist: Linda K. Williams
Artist: Alana Lea