The power to humanize, dignify, connect, and end war

17 May 2017


"War makes murderers out of otherwise decent people.

All wars, and all decent people."

If they tell me they want war instead of peace,

I don't say they're naive, I say they're stupid.

Stupid to an incredible degree to send young people out

to kill other young people they don't even know. . ."

~ Ben Ferencz (Age 97, last Nuremberg prosecutor alive)

60 Minutes CBS-TV News -- 07 May 2017

"We've illustrated what you already know what strengthens families and ends war:

Everyone has a story that needs, even cries, to be listened to.

Unheard and disregarded, very good, loving women, men, and youth can

become hopeless, desperate, even violent, even terrorists.

This is preventable and curable by you if today you can

choose to become a great listener.

As the first one in the room to listen,

you have the power to change the relationship."

"Can you do this?

Can you become the artisans of communication,

the great listeners humankind is waiting for?

Can you?"

STORIES OF CHANGE: Creating a Culture of Connection in The Citizens Century

Commencement Address -- 06 May 2017

Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, California USA


1.  A Pakistani Listening to an Indian
2.  Jewish American Students Listening to Iranians
3.  A Muslim Arab Listening to both Israelis and Palestinians
4   Diverse Americans Listening to Each Other
5.  A Congolese Listening to Everyone and Helping them Connect

The Art of Listening The Power of Listening Pope Francis' TEDTalk A Song for Planet Earth

= = 1 = =
A Pakistani
Listening to an Indian
Aliya Harir was an impressionable teenager who soaked up the patriotic propaganda from her schoolbooks and the one TV channel that served her town in the mountains of northern Pakistan.
So she feared, and hated, India.

There were always rumors that Indias going to attack Pakistan soon, and I was always worried: Where would I hide if an Indian soldier comes?
Ms. Harir, now 25, says as she laughs, embarrassed by her younger self.

"I only thought I would meet Indians if there was a war, if the Indians came in to kill us.
But the Indian I met was a human being, just like me."


After epiphany in U.S., woman forges peace among Indian and Pakistani youth

Thomson Reuters Foundation News -- 21 February 2017

= = 2 = =
Jewish American Students
Listening to Iranians
Jewish day school students had a great experience as the 'other side', then meeting a real Iran delegation at the U.N.


These Day School Kids Just Won Their 3rd Model UN Competition Representing Iran

The Forward -- 23 March 2017

= = 3 = =
A Muslim Arab
Listening to both
Israelis and Palestinians
Nas Daily -- -- provides 1-minute videos created by Nuseir Yassin to celebrate the positive, for a change!
"I was fed up with the amount of hate coming out from both sides.
I don't believe in making blame-y videos because these usually go nowhere and add nothing to the conversation."

And Nas doesn't believe in Kumbaya let's all be happy and merry.
He listens and watches people and relationships, works hard to strike a balance that escapes traditional news networks.

"Making these videos has not been easy.
There has been push back from both sides,
and that's great!"
Nas gets e-mail at


ISRAEL AND PALESTINE: The positive version (finally)

Nas Daily -- 25 March 2017

7-1/2 min video  (7 1-min. stories)


= = 4 = =
Diverse Americans
Listening to Each Other
In post-election 2017, many U.S. citizens feel increasingly alienated -- like strangers in their own land, without tools for civil engagement.
In Hendersonville, North Carolina, a breakthrough in successful community engagement was citizen-initiated and facilitated by Charley and Pam Rogers, available at


Groups come together to find common ground

Blue Ridge Now -- 19 April 2017


Charter for Compassion


It was not unlike the earlier, January gathering on the West Coast:


CROSSING LINES IN SAN MATEO: Sharing stories, Creating community

= = 5 = =
A Congolese
Listening to Everyone and
Helping them Connect
Peacemaker 360 -- -- is a new social media campaign for gathering and listening to stories of relationship builders around Earth.
They are everyday youth and adults from around the world with a threefold vision:  Inspire, connect, and amplify global peace activism efforts of ordinary people.

Founder Christian Cito Cirhigiri of eastern DR Congo is an effective, sophisticated social entrepreneur who receives e-mail at

The Art of Listening --

The Power of Listening
Jonathan Madison
San Mateo Daily Journal - 07 February 2017

Pope Francis' TEDTalk clarifies that the only future worth building includes everyone.
The 18-minute 2017 video is at

A Song for Planet Earth
West Los Angeles Children's Choir
4-min musical video




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This message is on the Web at
Hundreds of other success stories are preserved at