How stories of nonviolence can break the cycle of violence

(Reposted from Waging Nonviolence, May 20, 2021)

Soul of Nonviolence Podcast

How stories of nonviolence can break the cycle of violence

By: Veronica Pelicaric

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Violence draws life from the endless stories that push its power. But things can work the other way too. Stories of the nonviolent option can unexpectedly seep into our right brain, disturb the certitude of the violence operating system, and open breathing space.

– Ken Butigan

Learn more about the Soul of Nonviolence Podcast

Before diving into this week’s discussion of violence and the ways it self-perpetuates, join me in a moment of tenderness toward the self to explore the connection between thoughts and emotions. Through this quote from Ken Butigan, we can see the subtle roots of violence in the stories around us and in the neural pathways these stories create in our minds.

From there it’s easy to see the cycle — violence often provokes new violence. So to break the cycle, to give us a chance at peace, it’s time to revise these stories. By taking in stories of nonviolence, and sharing with those around us, we can make use of our neuroplasticity to orient ourselves towards kindness, and to understand that there’s a better way.

Veronica Pelicaric is Pace e Bene’s Nonviolence training and education coordinator and the co-author of the book, Engaging Nonviolence. She has led Pace e Bene nonviolence workshops in Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina, Haiti, Australia, Britain, and the Netherlands. A Zen Buddhist, she is conversant in six languages. She lives in Montreal, Canada.

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