David Hazen
David Hazen

Building a Culture of Global Peace

Instead of constantly feeling threatened and victimized by life’s challenges and reacting defensively with hyper-vigilance, frozen feelings, isolation, people-pleasing and perfectionism, we set healthy boundaries based on self-awareness of internal feelings. We deliberately focus on outcomes with passion, persistence and patience. We trust that there are creative solutions to conflict that meet everyone’s needs. We see that everyone’s relative distance from each other on the path of learning will naturally produce conflict. We gladly accept the struggle and search for solutions as part of our learning process. We flow confidently from one challenge to the next. We adopt the role of co-creator as an integral part of a much larger system than ourselves. We become a strong catalyst for positive change.

From Domination to Empowerment

Instead of grasping for power over others through shaming, blaming, anger and intimidation, we appreciate their strengths and values. Instead of disempowering others by either ignoring them or rescuing them, we challenge others to manifest their best selves. Instead of comparing ourselves with others and reinforcing our low self-esteem, we call forth the courage to learn and grow as a community. We point out the opportunities embedded in the difficulties we face. We affirm everyone’s ability to do whatever is necessary to achieve dreams that may seem impossible.

From Violence to Partnership

Instead of verbal and physical attacks on others that we perceive as enemies, weak or worthless, we see our inter-dependence with them. We begin to learn empathy for the ineffective strategies they have used to meet their needs. In our role as coach we search for ways to provide encouragement and support for people that we do not yet understand. We use compassion to help other people develop a vision and action plan by asking powerful questions. We build trust in our connection to and belonging with other people by managing our own emotional attitudes.

We all have the same longing to belong — to be intimately seen, loved, known and trusted. However, we live in an extremely pervasive culture of shame. It has told us that we are not lovable just as we are, that we have to earn our sense of belonging, and to top it all off, we will never be good enough. This is a culture of violence directed at our very being, and we have become deeply wounded.

For most people, to avoid the depressing experience of shame we use mood-altering behaviors which include not only over-work, gambling, shopping, food, chemicals, sex, drugs, media and extreme sports, but also controlling, dominating, anger and violence directed at others, to cite just a few examples. Behaviors and beliefs become so ingrained that we can only repeat formulas for dealing with life in rigid, narrow ranges of action. It becomes very difficult to see and admit that we have become obsessed with the avoidance of shame. The hard work of love requires us to generate the willingness to be completely honest about what we are doing to ourselves, to be patient with both ourselves and others, and above all else to seek connection when there appears to be none.

The practical, tangible, do-able and easily understood self-examination process in this workbook takes us through individually written answers to powerful questions, and if possible, self-disclosure in a regular meeting of trusted friends. Although this work may be done in solitude, the mutual support of a group provides encouragement and accountability. When a group agrees to create a safe space free of shame, our natural character strengths such as curiosity, respect, courage, patience, acceptance, serenity, honesty and gratitude will slowly emerge. This structure is an opportunity to drastically reduce the effects of the culture of shame and violence within ourselves and restore our experience of connection and belonging.

Individual transformation will come from immersion in the solution — experiencing the joy, wonder and power of a community that’s working for everyone — as they move together from control to acceptance, from domination to empowerment of others, from thoughts, words and deeds of separation to partnership. At a certain point along our journey towards connection, we begin to see that our wounds are healing, and then the deeper question arises, „How much healing am I willing to accept?“ (See Recovery Transformations blog post)

Once you have gathered an interested group together, you may work from the free PDF, or send me an email using the contact form in the right sidebar for instructions on ordering a box of books for everyone at my cost, which will be less than half the normal price. As much as possible I am making this book available „at cost,“ and 100% of the income I receive will support International Cities of Peace.

DISCLAIMER: This work is not a substitute for professional help and there is no assurance that it will alleviate the symptoms of organic disorders. If you have any doubts about the suitability of this work for your situation, consult your therapist, counselor or doctor.
We can do this!

Click this link for a free, downloadable PDF (edition 2.2)
Also available as a paperback from Amazon.com


The work of love is to abandon the culture of violence

Read more: The work of love is to abandon the culture of violence 



Love Always Wins: Hope for Healing the Epidemic of Violence

Most of us are helplessly entangled in one form of violence or another, as witness, victim, or perpetrator in a cultural disease of addiction to control. It could be systemic, inter-personal or internal violence, spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical violence.

The human species is spread out around the emotional bottom of our current crisis as we approach the end of a long era of addiction to violence and domination. Letting go of old self-serving fears, defenses and rigid beliefs, letting go of narcissism, is the personal and global path to a world of security, collaboration and harmony.

When I let go of my own inner limitations, all my relationships win, everybody wins, including my so-called “enemies.” This creates an opening for new information and perceptions that facilitate a rapid transition to a more effective lifestyle. Recovery from fear, distrust and out-of-control extremes of abusive human behavior, including rage at the micro level and national acts of war at the macro level are part of normal, predictable learning patterns that can lead to stability and security, but only when there is new information, hope and mutual support available.

We all have this ability to respond to crisis, to adapt, to grow, and it is in this ability that we find our most human qualities. A whole new range of options open up for us, and we can flow into solutions that were otherwise impossible. When we move out of the despair within ourselves, we end the cycle of addictive behaviors. When I change my inner world, my external behavior shifts to match, and I become a creative source of systemic change.



About David
I am a recovering violent person. The picture of me in the header is the inner child I wish to nurture. I have a passion for non-coercive conflict resolution and effective communication, having grown up in an era when physical punishment and nuclear bomb shelters were the norm.

Born in 1943, David’s childhood was affected by physical and emotional abuse and the terror of potential nuclear war. I have a Master’s degree in systematic design-planning as taught to me by an associate of R. Buckminster Fuller, one of the early holistic thinkers. Having served 5 years as the Oregon State Coordinator for the campaign to establish a U.S. Department of Peace, an amazing systems approach to violence, has given me a vehicle for the expression of my deepest values. I am now asking the question, what would a Department of Peace be doing if it were established at the level of a city? I am convening conversations among stakeholders and initiating projects that promote a resilient and sustainable social fabric locally as experiments in a culture of peace.

Above all else, I wish to protect the future of my two sons, Michael and Chris, my two grand-daughters, Shaye and Paige, and all the children of the world.



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Nachhaltigkeit + die Entdeckung Trojanischer Pferde…

Populäre Projektionen dessen, wie eine Bewusstseinsveränderung aussehen wird, sind in den meisten Fällen nur eine Neugestaltung der „alten Denkschablonen „. Eine größere, bessere Box, in der das Paradigma aufgewertet wird, das die Bedingungen verbessert, unter denen wir unsere Sucht auf eine „grüne“ Art und Weise genießen können.

So wichtig wie das ökologische Bewusstsein ist, es ist nicht genug. Das neue Paradigma kann nicht aus der intellektuellen Abstraktion einer dualistischen Interpretation einer „besseren Welt“ verwirklicht werden, die auf der Infrastruktur der existierenden Varianten-Matrix aufbaut, die dieses Paradigma erzeugt.

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