Speak Compassion

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Punishment & Peace

by @ 6:34 pm. Filed under Joe's Rants

I keep trying to explain to people my theory that punishment is the root of all violence. I think this article from the Huffington Post shows the true effects of punishment and violence. It shows the thinking behind violence and punishment and how they are linked. Violence is the way we make other people “get what we think they deserve.” Punishment and Peace are incompatible ideas. They cannot co-exist. To end violence on the planet we need to end the idea of making people “pay” for things they have done. I agree with the words of Marshall Rosenberg who is quoted as saying, “All violence stems from people being tricked into believing other people are the source of their pain and therefore deserve to be punished.” The true solution is to teach people how to restore the harm and the community rather than punishing. When children do something “wrong” we do best to teach them how to make it “right” not punishing them.

This is also the reason I believe we need to promote Restorative Justice as the alternative to punitive measures.  It is what I believe we need to do if we want more peace.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Journey Into Nonviolence Continues

by @ 6:45 pm. Filed under Joe's Rants

I have been writing this blog about my journey into Nonviolence since late 2006.  It has taken me though the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence’s Training of Trainers program in Kingian Nonviolence.  It has led me to study, practice and even sharing of Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication.  It influenced me being trained in mediation and even changing my career from mental health training and community organizing  to working the field of mediation, peace building, and conflict resolution.  Now, it is leading me to continue my quest to live a nonviolent life by taking me to India to take part in the Teaching for Peace Program.



I am excited to be going to India for a number of reasons and one is the chance to visit sites that were linked to the life of Gandhi.  As one of the larger influences in my own understanding of Nonviolence, it will be a life changing to see and be in the spaces relevant to his life.   I am also excited to see the Buddhist Ajanta caves and the Taj.

As part of this program, participants are asked to reframe from meat, diary, alcohol, drugs, etc…while they are in the three week program.  To prep for this, I started eating a vegetarian diet on June 1st and with a few exceptions like a nice dinner with friends this week, I am staying away from alcohol.  Really thinking this trip will be taking me slightly out of my comfort zone and that I wanted to prepare for that ahead of time rather than be thrown into eating different at the same time.

I am also hoping to make this trip traveling as light as possible.  I want minimal stuff to come with me and I don’t mind wearing the same clothes over and over if it means I can trace light.   Feel free to comment and give me tips on making that happen!

The program is focused on nonviolence in educational settings and even takes us into a few schools in India to see how they do it.  I am excited to be getting this inside look at Ahimsa in schools.   We will be looking at how Ahimsa (nonviolence) carries into schools and educational settings.  How do you do classroom management using the principles and fundamental basics of Ahimsa?  I am guessing I will learn as I am there.

I must admit preparing for this trip has been stressful.  It is all about rethinking your comfort zone.  What makes you deal well with the surroundings you are in?   The food?  The accommodations?  The water?  Bathrooms?  Sometimes the stuff you think nothing about is the stuff that makes a trip to India life changing.  What changes your life?

Keep checking back, as I plan to post some updates!   I also plan to updates and build up the site “Speakcompassion.com” which isn’t up to speed yet and I hope it to be a place where I can blog this trip and let others with me blog too!   Keep watching….  I also plan to invite the key players in bringing Nonviolent Communication, Compassion, Restorative Justice, and education reform to this blog.  Check out speakcompassion.com for posts about my trip to india, my thoughts on India and Nonviolence, and to hear from others who share my vision about bringing nonviolence education to CT and beyond.


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