Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Peace Literacy / Nonviolence Training

Paul Chappell, photo by Tom Cogill

Recently I participated in a Peace Literacy / Nonviolence Training held at a local Montessori School. The workshop was taught by Paul K. Chappell and since I am reading one of Paul’s books, The Art of Waging Peace, I was very excited to be able to attend.

Paul is a West Point graduate who served as a Captain in the U.S. Army and had been deployed in Iraq, now Paul works with the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. You can learn more about Paul at his website

In the workshop, Paul proposed that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, with food, water, and shelter being the most important of human needs, is actually up-side-down. Paul stated that humankind’s highest need is the need for purpose and meaning. His reasoning was that even with all physical needs met, without purpose and meaning humans lose hope and become violent towards themselves and others.

Paul also pointed out that understanding and respecting others, especially someone who is your opponent, is the basis of nonviolence. He explained that almost all human conflict is rooted in disrespect and that your best self-defense is to respect your opponent and seek common ground.

One of the handouts that we received was the “Joint (Gandhi-King) Principles of Nonviolence”, which is a synthesis of principals taught by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Joint (Gandhi-King) Principles of Nonviolence

Nonviolence means to honor the inherent worth of every human being. In Nonviolence we naturally seek to understand each other, build friendship and community.

Nonviolence means believing that our lives are linked together, that what we do impacts the lives of everyone we encounter. That we are responsible to and for one another. That we can trust one another and work toward the common good.

Nonviolence means dedicating ourselves to the fundamental rights of every human being (Justice, Equity, and Equality).

Nonviolence is courageously choosing to practice compassion with our adversaries. We oppose injustice, not people.

Nonviolence means recognizing love as the power of the human spirit to triumph over injustice, inequity, suffering; a true hero’s journey of personal-social change.

The eight hour workshop was very empowering and well worth the time. You can learn more about nonviolence training at

Mosaic in the floor of the Montessori School

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” ~Jesus (Matthew 5:9)

Peace, Love & Light!
Kevin (Cloud)