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A new movie about Cesar Chavez premiers March 28. Cesar was ahead of his time, but the time is now! Like Cesar, we can all stand up for those ignored and abused by a system bent on profit over conscience. He spoke out for poor working people, farmed animals, and our struggling planet. And he was one of the very first to show us that by simply living our lives consistently following our shared values of kindness, justice, and compassion (by consuming consciously), we can build a fair society. It’s in our hands.

All one.

Read more about the movie here.


If you haven’t yet taken the time to learn more about or listen to the wisdom of Thich Nhat Hanh, this short interview excerpt offers a perfect opportunity. I found it a most helpful refresher course in the art of compassion.

All one.

This is a nice introduction to one of the best teachers of interconnection. Thich Nhat Hanh’s words and work have influenced our work greatly.

A 15-minute talk presented by matt bear of on Nonviolence and living “A Life Connected.” Given to 400+ high school students and staff in 2009 (Denver, CO).

An inspiring short video about the power of the individual.

🙂 m

From the inspiring Julia Butterfly Hill, a very nice description of the desperate need for reconnection.  Our interconnection is real — like gravity.  This is the nature and purpose of Nonviolence — the active support, connecting and reconnecting, of our fundamental interconnection with one another.

It’s interesting, watching this with someone else, they wondered why Julia didn’t say “and animals.”  I know from my study of and belief in Nonviolence and interconnection, I’ve come to automatically imagine all people, all non-human animals, and all of nature when I hear “one another.”  It’s now just automatic for me. My guess is this is what Julia pictures, too.  I know that’s where her heart is.

“One another,” “each other,” “life”… some may picture their immediate family or their social justice group or national community or human community.  But it’s really just one community… called Earth.  We’re all in this together.

I hope you enjoy this short clip.

All one,
🙂 m

An excerpt from the documentary “King in Chicago”. Interviews with activists who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 1966 Chicago Freedom Movement.

I especially like the advice that Nonviolence requires that each of us recognize our own contribution to the problem.  We must in a sense first point the finger at ourselves and remove our investment in the problem so that we may instead be part of the solution.

All one,

🙂 m

This is a video of what I think is the most powerful and accurate speech about what war is really about since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his speech in 1967 on the racist/classist nature of the Vietnam war.  Many believe MLK’s “Beyond Vietnam” speech given exactly one year to the day before his assassination was the keystone speech leading to his murder.  Dr. King pointed out that the war wasn’t about ideology, it was about greed — and that we were being fooled into feeding the greed of the super-elite (the “war and rebuilding” profiteers) by illusions of separateness — that we were fighting each other in the streets over racism when the enemy was violence itself and those who profit from it.

Listen and be inspired — be inspired not only about the truth of the message and its call to all of us to take personal responsibility, but for the overriding message to carry this personal responsibility into EVERYTHING we do.  War, the destruction of the planet, cruelty to animals, the trampling of human rights, these are all being driven by greed.  The tools of public manipulation to feed that greed are the same — the illusion of disconnection.  Whether we’re fooled and corrupted by racism, classism, speciesism, or militarism — the illusion of separateness fuels violence.

The other key point of this speech (and of Dr. King’s speech… and of Nonviolence United for that matter) is that of the nature of power.  Power isn’t taken from us; it is given by us.  The state of the world isn’t being done TO us; it is being done BY us.  The power is in OUR hands.  We can refuse to obey, refuse to be submissive, refuse to be oppressive, and refuse to support violent industries (including war).  WE have the power and NO ONE can force us to be part of violence, injustice, and cruelty.

Your fellow humans are not the enemy.  The enemy is violence.  Refuse to be a part of it in any way.  Reconnect with YOUR true values of kindness, justice, and compassion and refuse to hurt other people, the planet, and animals.  The power is in your hands.  We’re all in this together.

All one,

🙂 matt

To attain inner peace you must actually give your life, not just your possessions. When you at last give your life – bringing into alignment your beliefs and the way you live – then, and only then, can you begin to find inner peace.” – Peace Pilgrim

Peace Pilgrim was a connector who, in the name of world peace, walked the United States for over 28 years until she was killed in an automobile accident.

Peace’s Pilgrim’s only possessions were the clothes on her back and the few items (a toothbrush, a comb, and a pen) she carried in her pockets. She carried no money and would not ask for food or shelter. It had to be offered without asking. For 28 years, all her needs were met.

“Aren’t people good,” she would often say. She spoke to all who would listen about peace — peace among nations, peace among groups, and about inner peace because she believed that was where peace began.

From the book, “Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work In Her Own Words”…

“After a wonderful sojourn in the wilderness, I remember walking along the streets of a city which had been my home for a while. It was 1p.m. Hundreds of neatly dressed human beings with pale or painted faces hurried in rather orderly lines to and from their places of employment.

I, in my faded shirt and well-worn slacks, walked among them. The rubber soles of my soft canvas shoes moved noiselessly along beside the clatter of trim, tight shoes with stiltlike heels.

In the poorer section I was tolerated. In the wealthier section some glances seemed a bit startled and some were disdainful.

On both sides of us as we walked were displayed the things we can buy if we are willing to stay in the orderly lines day after day, year after year. Some of the things are more or less useful, many are utter trash. Some have a claim to beauty, many are garishly ugly.

Thousands of things are displayed – and yet, my friends, the most valuable are missing. Freedom is not displayed, nor health, nor happiness, nor peace of mind. To obtain these things, my friends, you too may need to escape from the orderly lines and risk being looked upon disdainfully.”

View a 1-hour documentary about Peace Pilgrim (streaming RealPlayer)

(Get RealPlayer Here)
I watch this video again and again. And I learn something every time. Martin Luther King, Jr. does a wonderful job of explaining part of the philosophy of Nonviolence. He also reminds us of the importance of training, self-discipline, and courage.


– matt