The Practical Peacemaker

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Kate Lawrence

Hi, and thanks for your interest in The Practical Peacemaker. If you’re concerned about violence, poverty and environmental degradation in the world, and feel powerless to make any meaningful response, this book is for you. In it you’ll learn about personal obstacles to peace, the everyday things you have within your control, as well as the ways we as a society have made peaceful habits more difficult (see table of contents below). Throughout the book you’ll find dozens of suggestions, choices you can make in your own daily life, that build momentum toward more peaceful living. Are you ready to become a practical peacemaker? Rest assured that what you do does make a difference!

You can read the Preface (PDF) and the Introduction (PDF) right now.  (Go here to download Adobe Acrobat for free to read the PDF files.)  

Book contents:

Preface: Simple Living Makes Peace Possible

Introduction: The Three Aspects of Simple Living

Personal Obstacles to Peace

* One: Careless Eating and Drinking

* Two: Overcommitting Our Time

* Three: Instant Gratification

* Four: Unexamined Opinions

* Five: Anger

Societal Obstacles to Peace

* Six: Advertising without Accountability

* Seven: Media Saturation

* Eight: Rudeness

* Nine: Prejudice

* Ten: Environmental Degradation

* Eleven: Overpopulation

* Twelve: War, Terrorism, and Crime


Does What I Do Make a Difference?

For ordering information, click here.  If you order from me, I’ll be happy to autograph your copy for you.

For other great titles on similar subjects from my publisher, see the Lantern Books web site.

Two audios of Kate (mp3 files):

Interview on KAFM

Teleclass 04/13/2009


What Others Are Saying:

"The Practical Peacemaker is courageous, insightful, and spot-on. If enough of us take Lawrence's suggestions, we'll change the world­-and any of us who follow her lead will have lives of greater meaning and satisfaction."
Victoria Moran, author of The Love-Powered Diet and Living a Charmed Life

"A practical approach to peace must first acknowledge the main reasons for conflict—and resource disputes are at the top of the list. If we want peace, we must reduce demand for resources (such as oil and water) and share more equitably what we use. Kate Lawrence's work bypasses failed good intentions to get to the heart of both conflict and resolution."—Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute and author of The Party's Over and The Oil Depletion Protocol

"In The Practical Peacemaker, Kate Lawrence explores the root causes of ongoing unrest and dysfunction in our world. Because we 're overfed but undernourished in so many different ways, our eyes are not on the prize: a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. Lawrence shows us how to shift our focus and our actions to these things that really matter."—David Wann, coauthor of Affluenza and author of Simple Prosperity

"Kate Lawrence provides us with a clear, insightful guide for simple living. If you sincerely work to follow this guide you will find that you are in fact actualizing your best nature of selflessness and compassion, liberating yourself from isolation and sorrow. Words are cheap but the transformative PRACTICE of simple living is divine, bringing peace to one’s self and the world."—Ven. Danan Henry Roshi, Spiritual Director, Zen Center of Denver

"This lovely little book is a thoughtful exploration of the barriers to living a life of contentment and satisfaction. Kate Lawrence offers a rich palette of practical peacemaking suggestions based on principles of non-harming, care for others, and commitment to an ethical path. Drawing from her own personal efforts, she shows how practicing peace and compassion can be the true basis for healthy people and communities, and thus a healthy world. Though obstacles are endless, Kate Lawrence convincingly invites us to take up the path of peace in the midst of everyday life, to generate harmony within ourselves as well as among our friends and family."—Stephanie Kaza, author of Mindfully Green, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Vermont

"Walking our talk is the key to the future. Reading The Practical Peacemaker teaches us the walk to save the earth."—Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy

Kate's Blog:

A Practical Peacemaker
Ponders . . . 

Challenging the "Religion" of Economic Growth

January 19, 2012

For those of us concerned about poverty, environmental degradation, and climate change, the idea that economic growth underlies these problems will probably not come as a surprise. Growth--higher production of consumer goods, stepped-up extraction of resources, more and bigger houses, freeways and shopping malls--has been accepted almost unconditionally as the best way to run governments and assure prosperity. It is seen as the most potent answer to lifting people out of poverty and assuring full employment. Go out and shop more, we are told. Few people dare to publicly challenge the American religion of growth, and those who do should be read, supported, and discussed.

Or in the case of one new documentary, watched. I’m referring to Growthbusters: Hooked on Growth (remember Ghostbusters?), in which Dave Gardner, a courageous citizen of Colorado Springs, Colorado, becomes sufficiently fed up with the development, congestion, and depletion of resources he sees around him to run for his city council. The film follows his campaign, interspersed with headlines and newsclips from around the world praising growth, and shows the destructive effects of such growth. Gardner keeps it from becoming too heavy with a generous dose of humor; for example, he calls the Pope to offer him Endangered Species condoms.

Growthbusters is effective because it not only provides viewers with the reasons to oppose growth, but shows an average guy stepping forward and challenging his city officials. He comments that his campaign for city council often took him outside his comfort zone, but he did it anyway. I was glad to see a long segment on overpopulation, a subject often considered too controversial to address. I hadn’t realized how many countries are actually encouraging couples, by giving tax breaks and bonuses, to have more children--this is madness! A segment on the Transition movement was included, but I would have liked to see more on what a steady-state economy might look like, as well as something on the environmental effects of diet, specifically showing the benefits of plant-based diets. However, the film is still powerful; its message is critically important to share with as many people as possible. Keith and I hosted a screening last night, and attendees were favorably impressed. Here’s how to schedule a screening in your area.

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