Ten Things to Do to Become a Peacemaker

Paul Keggington

September 30, 2009

061809fscccampfranciscan055-copy.jpgAugust 2009 the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity began their community-wide Peace Study with a look at Scriptural foundations of peace and research from the Center of Nonviolent Communication.

Recently Network, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, published a back to back fact sheet encouraging distribution of Becoming a Peacemaker-Where to Begin. Here is a healthy list of ten things created by CNVC and Gary Baran that contribute to internal, interpersonal and organizational peace:

  1. Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.
  2. Remember that all human beings have the same needs.
  3. Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.
  4. When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.
  5. Instead of saying what we DON”T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.
  6. Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we’d like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.
  7. Before agreeing and disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.
  8. Instead of saying “No,” say what need of ours prevents us from saying “Yes.”
  9. If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what’s wrong with others or ourselves.
  10. Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.

franciscloseuped2.jpgSt. Francis of Assisi prayed: “While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.” Any comments as we prepare for the October 4 feast of the founder of the Franciscan Order?

Photos: Jaslyn Gilbert and Mark Kolter

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