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Question: What kind of leadership is needed for the International Decade? CPNN article: Solidarity with Peace Groups
Posted: May 31 2003,11:40

The research and practice over ten years has shown us that a new leadership is needed to implement the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World.  I refer interested people to the article,
Reconciliation Leadership for the Global Compact, a draft of a forthcoming article for the Decade. You can find the article
http://www.global-leader.org/gl_global_compact.htm.  Please let me know if you have any comments or feedback on this draft. I am very interested in what you have to say!

Edited by CPNN Administrator on June 01 2003,08:11
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Posted: June 01 2003,08:35

Congratulations on having undertaken the difficult task of helping to train leadership for the Global Movement for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, called for by the UN General Assembly.

Having written some on this same topic, I realize that it is not a simple one.  Here is the conclusion that I came to in my little book Psychology for Peace Activists, published in 1987:

The task of developing leadership with world-historic consciousness is not a task for psychology alone, but is a central task of the peace movement as a whole, in which the new psychology should be thoroughly integrated. Out of the peace movement there will emerge leaders who have the qualities of world-historic consciousness and who have made their work for peace not only a profession, but the very core of their being. As Debs puts it, these are the "social builders." Helping to recognize and develop such leaders is the highest task to which the new psychology is called.

The preceding quote comes from the concluding section of the book, Tasks of the New Psychology.  It is based on a chapter devoted to lessons drawn from great peace activists and entitled World Historic Consciousness.

The approach that you have undertaken, Virginia, is complex and very interesting.  I am especially pleased to see it based on the Seville Statement on Violence.

And I am fascinated by the exercise you describe by which seminar participants construct a time-line of their experience in the peace process, thereby constructing a collective history of it.  It seems to me that further development of such a process could help us collectively develop an alternative to the history books presently based on the history of the culture of war.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if the United Nations had the resources to underwrite such a process on a global scale!

Edited by CPNN Administrator on June 01 2003,08:37
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Posted: June 05 2003,06:05

I am heartened by your response!  I want to learn more about your work on this topic and wonder if your book Psychology for Peace Activists is still in print.  Where can I get a copy?

I agree that the task of developing leadership is not the task of psychology alone.  I draw from many disciplines in my work: psychology and counseling, international relations and diplomacy, history and political science, leadership research and career and human development. I draw on 25 years experience in the business world as a human resources manager, marketing and public relations director.  I draw on my experience as an  educator in higher education in four universities.

Reconciliation Leadership for the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World has to begin from a vocational calling to leadeship for a just, sustainable and multethnic peace.  Who would have thought a businesswoman would have been called into the UN during the first Persian Gulf Resolution in 1990?  Knowing nothing about the politics of the crisis, I said, "No, enough!  No more armed force to make peace. I made an internal covenant that I would do all in my power to end the use of armed force to make peace.  Every moment from that day on, I have searched for ways to find peace in myself, my relationships, my marriage, my family, my community and my world.  Reconciliation Leadership came out of my living my question of how to end the use of armed force to offering it to others.

In my course, I hope that my students will continue to dialogue together through this forum. Gratitude to you for all your efforts in the name of peace and the International Decade, David!
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Tony Dominski
Posted: Oct. 24 2003,07:06

The peace builders are in an environment where technology is too powerful to risk war.  Bombs, guns and germs are too dangerous to entrust to any government as history has shown.  Thus warfare is the most serious threat to human life that we face today and thus is obsolete!
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Posted: Nov. 24 2003,15:00

I agree with the need to establish a meaningful history by leaders & workers who build peace.  Certainly, the culture of war-tools has dominated the history books.  But I believe much of this work must be rooted in the daily economics of common people around the globe.  It seems that a large percentage of fear & violence is based in the real & perceived needs for basic safety & wellbeing... and this is what we all attempt to build for ourselves & our families when we go to work each day.

If we can't connect our global justice/peace work to the everyday environment of working people, we leave our struggle in the hands of the corporate media who will continue to glue together the needs of typical workers with their market driven desires & understanding of daily events, politics & the resulting relationships between them.  The commercialized acculturation of freemarket greed is so entrenched in the daily consciousness of everyone here in the global North/West as to require a fundamental shift in those "real world" intersections of time & money that drive each other.

I think we can learn from one clear example of success, however, in dealing with this gloomy dilemma: the ecology/environmental movement.  After a number of decades of slow growth, environmental consciousness is now something that everyone from all areas of the political spectrum can relate to.

Environmental degradation seems to have its most noticeable roots in the growing factories & landspoiling of early modernism.  When the 60's culture of more integrated, holistic approaches began looking into ecological waste & devastation, it was perhaps easier to see a definite trail of industrial pillaging that had gone on for almost a century.

And so now, I wonder, can we begin to use this same paradigm in shedding light upon the complex interactions of globalized exploitation & economic plundering that are so well embedded in the same consumer ideology that delivered ecological destruction?

Just like the environmental movement, why can't peace work focus society's attention on the commodity-greed-culture that fosters so many of our political & international conflicts?  Is it primarily a battle for the common airwaves & big media sources that feed off these very problems?

Just some thoughts about the big picture of big business opportunism & it's professional abilities in drowning out good ethics with commercialized perspectives & media shell games.  

These seem to be the protected future battlegrounds of the sacred struggle to bring peace in a climate of freewheeling globalization that breeds & feeds upon the commodity paradigm.  It can be challenged, but I feel we've got to do so on an "everyday" level of economic issues that all people can relate to, not just the political & social strata that work as the activists & healers of today... we've got to energize a broad dynamic of grass-roots folks in planting the seeds of peaceful work and change.

From a Tikkun member, I offer to collaborate for peaceful unity in diversity, understanding & freedom.  As the Lakota native Indians say, Mitakuye Oyasin... Rob M.
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