Action Steps to Live a Peaceful Lifestyle
• Go to family therapy, and do everything you can to get everyone in your family to go together.
• Use personalized or unconventional means of therapy if the people you are working with have a stigma against conventional therapy.
• Connect with people one-on-one and learn first-hand why they are violent. Do this especially with young people and remain consistent in trying to understand and reverse detrimental behavior.
• Commit to building yourself up and moving forward from moments of insecurity, instead of harboring anger and contributing to the cycle of violence. A grudge hurts you more than the person you hold it against.
• Be honest with yourself about who you are and challenge yourself to be better. That is the only way you will be able to identify how to grow as a person and into a peaceful adult.
• Use sports, arts, and other community organizations to develop young people into good neighbors and citizens.
• When communicating a problem to people in a community, speak in terms of bigger issues that can connect people and organizations, instead of focusing on the more narrow issues that can make people feel like a conflict is not their struggle.
• Before we can move forward and promote nonviolence, we have to admit that sometimes we are scared of each other. If everyone were strong enough to admit they were afraid sometimes, we would realize we have more in common than we think, and that few of us set out to hurt each other.
• Make a conscious decision not to be scared of the people you live with, and not to be scared of engaging with the people you are fighting for.
• Young men should live out a healthy version of manhood every day – one that requires no affirmation from others, lets you be yourself, lets you be self-confident no matter who you are, and that doesn’t scorn natural human emotions, desires, or fears.
• Focus organizing efforts on students and prisoners to empower people and make the biggest difference in the long run.
• Engage the “big actors,” the people who are already committing acts of violence or other detrimental acts to see why they do it and how we can end it together. Must use “street-credible” community figures to engage with these types of people.
• Find the organizing model that works best for your unique community. Peace doesn’t come from a cookie cutter.
• Make sure the people who experience a problem have a say in creating the solution.
• Confront the people who offend you with nonviolent conversation and explanation, instead of retaliating against them, ignoring them, or hiding from them. We need to work to build each other up rather than fight to tear each other down.
• Stand up for others in your public life to defend your community members’ rights and dignity.
• Oppression and peace cannot coexist. We need to eliminate all forms of oppression before peace and nonviolence can really take root.
1st Annual Peace is a Lifestyle Conference: