By ELTON SKENDAJ, Visiting Research Fellow, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame
Original post found in the Global Campaign for Peace Education Newsletter, February 2012 issue.
I write this as a research fellow at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at Notre Dame, where reflection and action in peace research are encouraged. In a review of current practices of peace education by US Institute of Peace, the writers celebrate the diversity of peace practice, but sound a note of caution that we need better evaluation of the strategies that work in peace education. In this spirit of reflection, I want to make a plea for learning from our failures and sharing information about when our strategies work and when they don’t. As peace educators, we often share information about what we consider successful outcomes of our efforts, and failures to achieve the peace we seek are used to justify the claim that more peace education activities are needed.
Your personal myths—the hidden themes and stories of your life—could be subconsciously shaping the way you live today. Personal myths are generated from family, society, and your own experience. When you become aware of your guiding personal myths, you can examine them to determine whether they are more functional than dysfunctional. This process can help you identify myths that no longer serve you, which reduces the power they have to influence your thinking and decisions.
When I was producing television, I met Whitney Houston. She was suggested by a network for a guest role on a show I was producing. I had never heard of her so they sent over a copy of her singing "I'm Saving All My Love for You." Before the song was over, I knew that I was willing to give her a shot even though she had never acted before. Not only was she a fantastic singer, but she really jumped off the screen with a luminous energy.
The week that we did the taping, Whitney couldn't have been nicer. She was about 20 at the time and seemed to be surprised and delighted at her new found fame. As I've watched her very public struggle with drugs and an abusive marriage, it has been heartbreaking. How did that joyous talented young woman turn into a pathetic drug addict?
Of course it is a common story in the entertainment business and especially among musicians. Quincy Jones, the renowned music producer, said on CBS News that he "was angry about her drug use" but recalled the similar problems of Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix. He offered his opinion that he doesn't think there's going to be any change in the music industry in a clip available at http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7398559n&tag=mncol;lst;1
Finding the right job in conflict resolution, international development and related fields requires a combination of the right experience and training, an understanding of the field, developing strong connections and a bit of serendipity. In addition to academic and/or professional training, it is essential to have an understanding of how conflict resolution works in practice. Many people working in conflict related jobs, will not find employment with "conflict resolution organizations" but with organizations in others sectors (international development, education, environment, business) working on conflict related jobs. Thus it is also important in the job search to broaden your scope to include international development organizations, government and intergovernmental institutions, for-profit and business institutions, educational institutions, and more.
PsySR’s 30th Anniversary Conference: July 12-14, 2012 – Washington, DC
Conference Information: www.psysr.org/conference2012
We invite psychologists, researchers, students, activists, and artists to submit proposals for Psychologists for Social Responsibility’s July 2012 Conference in Washington, DC: “Psychology and the Occupy Movement: Synergies for Social Change.”
The Occupy Movement in the United States, inspired by the earlier Arab Spring uprisings in North Africa and the Wisconsin Movement, is using creative, nonviolent methods to decry inequities in our society. It is enlisting citizens from all walks of life to right injustices of wealth and power and to stop the use of violence to perpetuate these injustices. This 30th anniversary PsySR conference will explore the relationship between psychology and the Occupy Movement and the synergies this relationship can generate in the service of social justice. We will focus on three areas:
Dr. Shawn Tassone, a PhD student in Mind-Body Medicine at Saybrook, has a great post in Psychology Today on the benefits of meditation ... and how to get there from here.
"I worked on meditation for seven weeks and found the process an evolution similar to the progress through a religious paradigm," he writes. "As I grew up Catholic, I think the comparisons are rich and can help you see that meditation is a process and can be taken as slowly as you desire."
Take a look: The Seven Stages of a Lay Meditator
Natalie Rogers, PhD, founder of the transformational Creative Connection® system of person-centered expressive arts has published an all-in-one guide to group facilitation titled: The Creative Connection for Groups ~ Person-Centered Expressive Arts for Healing and Social Change, which, I believe, has the power to impact personal and global transformation and healing.
Every step of her unique, intermodal expressive arts process is explained in a way which allows readers to take part in the exercises as if they were participating in a workshop intensive. The tools, procedures, and resources designed to initiate creative action have all been included, making it a ‘must have’ book for anyone ready to stimulate growth through expressive creative action. This book is a soulful wake-up call for a world in crisis which requires new ways of seeing, acting, and being to begin the journey toward peace through community engagement. Natalie Rogers writes: “Using creative expression to get acquainted with oneself – one’ values, thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams – is imperative in today’s world” (p. 4). The next step – using expressive arts to build community and move in the direction of inner and world peace – is the goal closest to Rogers’ heart. The underlying theme of the book is encouragement of expressive arts being used in groups as a vehicle for personal growth, transpersonal work, and building a sense of belonging and community (Rogers, 2011, p. 208).
being human: What does it mean to you? Conference scheduled for San Francisco, March 24, 2012 at the Palace of Fine Arts Everyday, fresh insights from science and philosophy shed new light on the processes of human experience – the how of feeling, thinking, and believing – and invite us to redefine who we are as human beings. Pioneers on the frontier of human understanding will guide...