Peace and Disarmament
The April Issue of the SGI Quarterly "On Communication"
The April 2011 issue of the SGI Quarterly is now available online. The theme of this issue is communication. The way we communicate--our habitual ways of speaking, listening and responding--can promote good relations and increase mutual understanding, or create discomfort and tension, even violence. "Most of us have learned patterns of communication that block compassion," says contributor and Nonviolent Communication trainer Myra Walden. Learning to discern the underlying feelings and needs in what others say, and to clearly express our own, enhances empathy and harmonious interaction.
The media too can either enhance conflict by narrowing perspectives or create the kind of broader understanding that fosters peace. Peace journalist Dov Shinar explores the need to "change war-oriented media structures." Meanwhile, the potential of new social media to promote peace is only beginning to be explored. Social media technologies are not only changing the way we communicate, but also shaping culture, values and politics. "Digital culture is laying the foundation for a new kind of society, one marked by increased openness, communication and participation," writes media specialist Patrick Towell. Journalist Onnik Krikorian offers an example of how Facebook is helping to build relations amidst conditions of deep enmity in Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Communication is at the heart of Buddhism, which is concerned with strengthening the heart-to-heat bonds between people. Promoting and engaging in dialogue has thus been a core focus of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's activities. Virginia Benson, first director of the Ikeda Center for Peace, Learning, and Dialogue, describes how her own and the Center's efforts to actualize and expand this vision of peace through dialogue have evolved: "I realized that what mattered most was heart and resonance, the quality of my interaction with each person."
Read the April issue of the SGI Quarterly on communication here.
[Courtesy of SGI Office of Public Information]