The Hurt Locker

March 4, 2010

We saw “The Hurt Locker” over the weekend and I came out of the theater thinking of enrolling in a non-violence training program.  I found the movie to be among the saddest I’ve ever seen.  It centered on an explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) team in Iraq whose mission was to find and either disarm or detonate improvised explosive devices (IED) set out as traps against American forces in the country.  The soldiers performing this frightening task were all members of the non-commissioned force and all seemed to come from the lesser educated parts of our society.  The movie steered clear of politics but I find it near impossible to not think about the fabricated reasons for our presence there.

There would be many fewer IED’s in Iraq and Afghanistan if our armed forces were not there and these hideous weapons kill scores of innocent citizens of these countries every month.  When will it stop and who will stop it?  I am becoming more and more convinced that adherence to non-violence principles is the only way and who better to learn them from than Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

“I cannot teach you violence, as I do not myself believe in it.  I can only teach you not to bow your heads before anyone even at the cost of your life.”  Mohandas Gandhi

Posted March 8, 2010

1 Comment

I am yet to see “The Hurt Locker” and my husband who has seen it recommends that I don’t because of the violence. I am very grateful for your posting and am moved by your statement “I came out of the theater thinking of enrolling in a non-violence training program.” I love that you want to contribute to a peaceful way and I’m wondering if you have enrolled in anything yet? I feel called to share with you about my discovery of “Nonviolent Communication” - the work of Marshall Rosenberg PhD in May 2003. It so inspired me that I have been working with it and teaching it to others ever since.

Heavily influence by Ghandi and King, Marshall’s model is really quite simple and yet it introduces a whole new way of looking at the world and the violence we experience and witness. The impact is profound and deep. Life altering, transformational, awe inspiring and peace making.

I passionately believe that “world peace” as we call it is impossible when there is war and violence in relationships and homes across the world. I believe that armed conflict is a natural strategy that is sadly still needed on the planet because our skills at resolving conflict in other ways are not sufficiently developed.

Though I feel much sadness as I sit with this, I also seek not to judge it as wrong - it is simply where we are in our human evolution and my work is about bringing some momentum to the evolutionary shift in out language. Shifting from one of judgement, criticism, labeling, blame and right/wrong thinking to one of compassion, connection and empathy - understanding at the level of universal human needs. To the language of the heart.

If this calls to you - please visit http://www.cnvc.org where you can read the first chapter of Marshall’s book. If you’re more visual - there are a number of videos on you tube where he speaks about his experience with waring factions.

This work has made and is making a profound difference to me - in my relationship with myself and others and also to people I train and who make it a practice. I hope you enjoy exploring it and I’d love to hear if it inspires you too.

“out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field. I will meet you there.” Rumi.


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