Nonviolent Change Journal

Publication of the Research/Action Team on Nonviolent Large Systems Change,
an interorganizational project of the Organization Development Institute

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Nonviolent Change Journal helps to network the peace community: providing dialoguing, exchanges of ideas, articles, reviews, reports and announcements of the activities of peace related groups and meetings, reviews of world developments relating to nonviolent change and resource information concerning the development of human relations on the basis of mutual respect.



Vol. XX, No.3                                                   Spring 2006



What Are You Up To?




     Please share with us what you are doing relating to nonviolent change. Send us a short report of your doings, learnings, ideas, concerns, reactions, queries, etc.  We will print them here. Responses can be published in the next issue.


Steve Sachs: I am concerned that the point has probably been past when further nuclear proliferation can be prevented. On that, and numerous issues, it is now important for world leaders to adjust to new realities and changing power and other situations, in creative ways, to prevent catastrophe. It appears, to me, increasingly important to develop collaborative international relationships if we are to deal effectively with the planet's deepening problems, for everyone's benefit. I see as hopeful much of the United States waking up to the destructiveness of the Bush administration to the real interests of all Americans, and of the citizens of the world at large. Much more open discussion is needed, however, to make real progress; and that is difficult given the state of U.S. media, largely split between corporate and right wing entities. A return to the equal time doctrine, and the rise of a fully representative, open media in the United States, is perhaps the most essential need for the country, and indeed the world.


On a more personal basis, in spite of attempts to slow down, just a bit, this has been a somewhat busier period for me, particularly in writing. Events have moved me to be involved in developing a number of papers on American Indian affairs, including the article in this issue, while completing a coauthored book on American Indian renewal (now close to done), and compiling this journal and Indigenous Policy (at, while working on other matters.


I very much hope that more folks will become involved in putting together, editing, and shaping Nonviolent Change, and invite inquiries from perspective collaborators. Please email it to me, Steve Sachs


Darling G. Villena-Mata:  Hello dear people.  As I became  increasingly involved with my academic work and in committee work in internationalizing our college, I realized that I needed to balance that with my passion for my own writing and for my personal projects that deal with helping myself and others to remember who we are: human beings.  Often I see in my students the stress to perform and to ‘do’ as who they are.  I am reminded of Lao-tzu, the Chinese philosopher of olden times. 

”By Being, all things get done.”

  I have my psychology students look at how much they matter and make a difference, simply by being.  How by unfolding who they are; loving human beings, that in itself impacts their environment.  My work is in psychological trauma where often people feel that it is not safe just to “be”.  That ‘doing’ becomes the master and the ‘be-er’ is the servant. It becomes a vicious circle where people are afraid of letting go of whatever they are ‘doing’ in order to try out ‘being’.  Reflection on one’s life when living in traumatic situations is often not something that people have sought to experienced as part of their daily lives.  Time is an enemy for that kind of environment and reflection certainly takes time.  People often feel that they cannot ‘risk it’.   So the story continues and the cycle of trauma or at the minimal, the cycle of stress leads the way.

 I am reminded of an African writer Chinua Achebe who said in one of his writings that the ‘story owns us.’  It does indeed, if we do not wake up to our humanity and the realization that we are storytellers and storywriters of our lives.  I am therefore in the beginning phases of writing a second book on becoming human. My first one was on societal trauma (Walking Between Winds: A Passage Through Societal Trauma). I am also just starting to develop a project to establish a ‘heart tank’ retreat: CirclePoint Homestead.  This will be a place where people whose jobs, work, projects and desire to help human beings become awaken to that fact can come and get re-nourished in an environment conducive to play, healing, resting, breathing, and as a colleague said to me, ‘just chilling’ out as we look up at the blue sky and feel the green grass underneath us, as the gentle breezes of peace caresses our skin.  It will be a place where like minded people can rest and relax, write and share their passions of being human, debrief from their work, and get in touch with what we are trying to role model to those whom we serve: to have faith in being human and to give them the tools to sustain that peace within and around them.  It is in the concept of a of retreat with an artist colony type where you can have a place to develop your ideas, bounce off the ideas with others, and/or just rest and allow that part of your brain and all of your body  to enjoy the peace of who you are.  Those of you who are ‘out there’ and those of you who want to be ‘out there’ helping to turn the tide of the traumatic stories into ones of peace and love will find at this Homestead a place to regroup and rest; to remember who you are.  To stay for the weekend to  6 months or in between or longer; whatever your need may be.  If you like, I will keep you posted. If you are interested to know more, contact me.

To take my own advice, I am re-prioritizing and honoring my limits and energy so that I can have a balance life.  Therefore, this will be my last participation of the journal as a webmaster and co-editor.

I ask of you to please consider getting involved in keeping this journal going.  Without your active support, the development and publication of this journal falls on a few who have been working on this journal for many years.

If you decide that this journal is worthwhile and the information and thoughts expressed in these issues are important enough to be distributed, may I ask you to consider volunteering a few hours of your time per issue to format and put up the issue on the web?  Please contact the chief editor, Steve Sachs


Thank you for your readership and the passions you continue to share in helping to transform our struggling world community into one of peace.


We are all related.  Walk in beauty that you are.




©2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. All rights reserve. The Nonviolent Change Journal is published by the Research/Action Team on Nonviolent Large Systems Change - an interorganizational and international project of The Organization Development Institute.  Opinions expressed are solely that of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editing staff, Nonviolent Change Journal, Organization Development Institute.