Mentor in Memorium: Marshall Rosenberg (1934-2015)

Marshall_RosenbergMarshall Rosenberg, founder of the Center for Nonviolent Communication, was a world renowned peacemaker, psychologist, educator and author. He dedicated his life to the study and practice of the conditions that bring about peace. He taught millions, through his books and talks, the skills of honest expression, empathy, naming feelings, and asking for what we need in order to enrich our lives.

His early experience living in racially divided Detroit while he was training as a psychologist contributed to his developing a way to address conflict that emphasizes listening with empathy. He was also influenced in this direction by his association with the renowned psychologist Carl Rogers (1902-1987) who became his mentor, and asked him questions that were unanswerable at the time about how people can be loving and violent at the same time.

The Greater Good Center at the University of California at Berkeley said, “Dr. Rosenberg’s passing is a great loss to those inspired by his embodied, practical approach to peacemaking. And yet his work lives on as an inheritance, one that we may discover, rediscover and invest in ourselves and in one another, sharing these instruments of harmony that were meant to be shared in a diverse, complex, and complicated world.

One of fans of his work said, “Marshall Rosenberg is the mentor I wish we’d all had growing up. We learned to speak but not communicate and that has led to so much unnecessary personal and social misery.”

I’m interested in learning that’s motivated by reverence for life, that’s motivated by a desire to learn skills, to learn new things that help us to better contribute to our own well-being and the well-being of others. And what fills me with great sadness is any learning that I see motivated by coercion.

~ Marshall Rosenberg ~

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