In the Spotlight:
Personally, I heard Marshall repeatedly speak of his vision and desire to see NVC as a form of social change (for examples, see the two interviews I conducted with him for The Cleveland Free Times and The Sun magazine). He also repeatedly referenced books such as Walter Wink's The Powers that Be and Rianne Eisler's, The Chalice and the Blade, both of which concern power in human society, how it has shifted over thousands of years, and how (in the case of Wink's book) civil disobedience is a nonviolent challenge of power and its "habits" and structures.For Marshall, I believe the compelling question for him was: How can all people and all beings' needs matter and be held with care? As part of this (as illustrated by the book references above), he questioned and even challenged hierarchal structures, power over, and societal norms and expectations where power resided (his referring–with his characteristic humor—to corporations as "gangs" is one example of this). "Power-over" is a "label" or term that Marshall used repeatedly. This is what I see "privilege" referencing: "power-over" patterns on a societal level in how we relate to each other and all life.That he decided to call the practice he developed "Nonviolent Communication" and saw NVC as a direct extension of Gandhi's principles, is the ultimate example of his views and intentions. I don't think I need to remind anyone that Gandhi was focused on civil disobedience, a radical way of practicing compassion to challenge power and power-over. Marshall saw NVC as an extension of these principles. In effect, NVC is Rosenberg's "experiment" in direct action every day, in each conversation and interaction.
—Dian KillianIt's not enough that we believe that if we purify the self, energy will radiate to take care of things. I agree... it's simply not enough. I remember 15 years ago thanking Marshall for creating this wonderful tool for personal growth and transformation. I remember his response, "I want NVC to be used for social change." I still vividly remember that conversation .. and how awkward I felt that I didn't quite grasp the vision he had. I still don't know if I do, but I feel much closer to it now though than I ever have.