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Words and Violence, Fourth Edition

This is the fourth year that Voices has compiled a new edition of Words and Violence under the stewardship of Barbara Kaufmann. The emphasis in this edition is on Mother Earth, and how resilient she has been in the wake of our endless "bullying." We've all heard stories of climate change, deforestation, global warming, pollution, and the misuse of our natural resources. This new edition helps concretize the planet's reality, and offers hope for a new beginning, providing ways to take our concern and move us to action.

"Who will save us now?" is our invitation to examine the problem of "Bullying the Planet" and to find the antidotes for becoming the solution. As we consider this poignant question we come face to face with a trilogy written by environmental journalist, Richard Schiffman. Schiffman introduces us to the "Five States of Environmental Grief," forces us to consider still another question, "Are the Oceans Failed States?" and concludes with exposing us to the issues of "Hunger, Food Security and the African Land Grab." In a second trilogy, this time written by Chicago Tribune columnist Robert Koehler, he unmasks his life mission and invites us to join him in undoing the mythology of violence. Walk Softly, speaks from the Indigenous voice and what marginalized peoples may have to teach us about balance and how to protect the context from which we live. He explains why We Can’t Afford to Lose Another Decade and why and offers a reasonable request in asking us to grow up and act In Partnership With Mother Earth.

Poet and author of Harlem Renaissance Encyclopedia, Aberjhani, contrasts the philosophy of shared community with guerilla decontextualization—the insidious and deliberate art of manipulation in order to discredit and nullify in Creative Flexibility and Annihilated Lives.

We enter a day-long healing chamber where we begin Awakening the Dreamer, a process of waking from the modern trance, healing the grief, and creating an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling and socially just world.

Artist and storyteller Carol Hiltner, who works with the Altai of Siberia guides us on a journey with those who have been pushed aside in favor of modern progress and with Maia Rose, we learn their story from the inside out in Mother Earth Cannot Be Bullied.

Barbara Kaufmann asks us to become aware of something that we repeatedly do every day and that may have completely escaped our attention which not only teaches children how to bully, but demonstrates it repeatedly in Teach Your Children Well. Then educator, author and admitted tree-hugger Kate Trnka takes us on a fanciful journey with her students as they explore the magic that awaits them in the forest as they communicate with trees and get to know them intimately in If These Trees Could Talk, Park I

Lesa Walker, M.D. leads us through some classroom exercises, antidotes and compassion games in Bullying the Planet: Is There an Antidote? Community Activist and Environmental Guru Karen Plamer shares ideas for organizing a community and teaching kids about eco-responsibility with her game “Let’s Save the Earth” as she finds out Can Educating Them to Be Stewards be Easy, Educational, Engaging and Fun?

We then discover HIStory’s mystery person: Someone Who Was Singing Earth’s Song Long Before It Was Fashionable To Become Her Voice.

Voices Education is the education arm of the Charter for Compassion International. The Charter is committed through its work and network of partners to bring compassion to the earth and all living things that call this place "home." You might want to visit the Charter's site, and explore the Compassionate Environment Reader while you are there.

New Addition to Voices Playback Series

Read our latest Playback story: Antonio Pacitti

Creativity flowed into all parts of the life of artist Antonio Pacitti, whether he was cooking a meal for family and friends or improvising a tune on the mandolin. As an artist, this energy might flow into an explosion of spring blossom, into the rhythmic decoration of a ceramic, the sensuous line of a life drawing or into a sensitively observed portrait. But his art also engaged with the extremities of experience –- hence the recurring theme of Christ’s Passion. His political images of refugees, prisoners and the bereaved came out of his deep anger at injustice.

A nucleus of the art of Antonio Pacetti is being set aside for educational and spiritual projects. Some of Antonio Pacitti’s work is available to private galleries, but this collection will be kept intact.

When dealers state the provenance of a work of art, it is in terms of prices, sales and ownership. This body of Antonio’s work is already establishing a different kind of provenance, one that is far more relevant to the Charter for Compassion. This provenance is process rather than static possession. Its value is not located in a sum of money, but in empathy, insight, shared experience. Rather than being the property of a single person or institution, this collection of work has already engaged a multiplicity of participants.

In its treasure-house of writings and some images, the Charter for Compassion recognises the importance of the arts in creating compassion and helping us to understand war.  Learn more about Antonio Pacetti in Voices Compassionate Education Playback Series and in the Reflective Writings and Art: Understanding War