Wednesday, March 17, 2010


You ever get so busy that you forget you have a blog? It's amazing how life happens, and you end up wondering where did all the time go? Then, tonight, when I remembered I have a blog, and logged in, I was stunned to see that it's been since early February that I had anything to say.

I'll blame it on the Vancouver 2010, Winter Olympics. What a hoot that was!! There was such a ground swell of emotional pride in this city, and Canadians, whom I believe have always loved this country, were wearing it loud and proud! Every where you went, people were in a good mood, interconnecting, talking, chatting, high fiving one another; it felt good. Last Sunday, several weeks after the Olympics have come and gone, mom and I went to the movies. We got into a conversation with strangers in the line up (yes, Avatar still has line ups!) and then, once in the theatre, with strangers seated next to us. Later, mom said, "I don't think I've ever talked for so long to so many strangers", and we both wondered if that was the legacy Vancouver 2010 left behind...strangers who are willing to chat up other strangers. I hope so. It feels good.

I could allow this to seque into a post about interconnection, conflict and strangers, but haven't the energy right now. Instead, I'm going to talk about a resource I've found.

Since 2003, when I started to study conflict, and conflict resolution, I've read dozens, and I mean, dozens of books. I've read biblical conflict resolution books, secular ones, university textbooks on the subject, and personal journals. That is how I learn, and each book has had something great to offer. But I must say, the book I am reading now, is by far and away, the best book I have ever read on the subject.

It is called Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life, by Marshall B Rosenberg, Ph.D. Here is the description on the rear cover...

"Most of us have been educated from birth to compete, judge, demand and diagnose - to think and communicate in terms of what is right and wrong with people. At best, communicating and thinking this way can create misunderstanding and frustration. And still worse, it can lead to anger, depression, and even emotional or physical violence"

The book talks about how ANY communication that leaves one feeling hurt, wounded, little, alone, is violent communication and violent communication has nothing to do with physical, violent contact. Words that wound the soul are words borne in violent communication.

Gandhi taught that passive violence - violence where the hurt is more emotional than physical - is actually more insidious than physical violence, because passive violence ultimately generates anger in a person that over time corrodes that persons faith, hope and eventually, love. Whoever said "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me" had no clue!

So, if there is only ONE book you can read about conflict, and communication, this is the one. It is published by PuddleDancer Press, and you can check it out online at It has a companion workbook.


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