Pathway to Peace

dove-2Like many people, I have been struggling to make sense of what is happening in the Middle East, in Israel and Gaza, wondering how this bitter conflict will ever be resolved.  I won’t pretend to have the answer, but I refuse to give up hope that some day soon there will be peace.  

Forgiveness teaches us the power of story, and that we have a choice of which story we tell. Our story can imprison us or liberate us.  Nowhere is the power of story more apparent right now than in the Middle East.

As much as anything, we are seeing a battle of narratives, with each side spinning events to justify their actions and bring condemnation to the other side.  Words are carefully chosen to provoke and inflame. Notice how each side demonizes and dehumanizes the other. This then provides an excuse for refusing to even try to understand or reason with the other. These are common and well-known strategies, something mediators see every day in all types of conflict.  

Amidst all of this, a man who gives me hope is Marshall Rosenberg, the founder of NVC (nonviolent communication). I want to share a video clip in which Marshall he explains how he has successfully used NVC in the Middle East.

Marshall shows us there is a pathway to peace. We can help people move past their story, even when the story is angry and ugly and pointed at us. The key is to look beyond the words, the story, the rhetoric, and focus on human feelings and needs.  Actually, its not that complicated.  It just requires a different approach. It reminds me that we already have everything we need whether we know it or not. It gives me hope.

May we all learn to live in peace – soon!


About Eileen Barker

EILEEN BARKER has been writing and speaking on forgiveness, and guiding people who need to either forgive themselves or someone else, for many years. A practicing litigation lawyer who rejected the traditional adversarial role, Eileen has focused her practice on mediation, helping thousands of people resolve disputes outside of court. This work led her into a deep exploration of forgiveness as it relates to resolving conflict and making peace, both with others and oneself.

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