Redefining the Peace Movement

Step boldly to incarnate your belief in the power of peace to transform indifference and hostility.

Cultivating Peace©2012 James O’Dea. Excerpted from Cultivating Peace: Becoming a 21st Century Peace Ambassador . (Shift Books)

We are witnessing a tidal shift in consciousness. Some see it as a great planetary awakening of awareness accompanied by an extended capacity for empathy and collaboration. The burgeoning networks of people who share these new values, along with the accelerating global communications environment, are creating an unprecedented planetary resonance. We are collectively beginning to shed the skin of humanity’s dysfunctional consciousness.

Here are key transformations defining the new peace movement:

We are moving from being locked into outrage at war and violence, or being defined as a protest movement, to creating a culture of peace from the ground up and from the inside out.

We are moving from the reactive condemnation of others arising out of a presumed superior moral position, to engaging in dialogue,listening, and drawing on nonviolent communication strategies.


We are moving from labeling those who disagree with us as the enemy to recognizing the inherent flaw in creating enmity as a peace strategy. In this way our work attempts to dissolve polarizing behaviors.

We are moving from a consciousness that is problem centered to one that is solution centered. This has a radical impact on how we organize. We are informed by our vision, and our approach is not always defined by the tactics or stance of the opposition.

We are moving from piecemeal, feel-good, quick-fix interventions, to whole-system maps and systemic transformation.

We are moving from a reliance on ideological frameworks to integral approaches that are embodied manifestations of peace at the individual and collective levels.

We are moving from activism that leads to burnout and relationship breakdowns to one in which working for the cause of peace requires self-care and time for quality relationships.

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James O’Dea
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