Tribute to Marshall Rosenberg
This week people around the world mourn and say farewell to Marshall Rosenberg, PhD. He passed away February 7th peacefully and at home with his family. I am forever and deeply grateful to Marshall for the beautiful pathway to authentic living that he has given me and so many others. He has given us a way to live our deepest values from the inside out.
I met him first in 2003 when he came to Dallas to offer a weekend workshop and I immediately knew that his message was profound for me and I wanted to learn all I could about the process of communication he called Nonviolent Communication (NVC). So the next 6 years I studied and took more workshops from others and with him: a 15 day Special Session on Social Change in 2007 and an International Intensive of 10 days in 2009 which completed my training to be a certified facilitator.
Marshall leaves us a powerful legacy, a legacy of love, compassion, empathy, healing and empowerment. We will never know the many human beings that have been transformed and come truly “alive” by the powerful body of training he offered tirelessly and with great humor and humility.
I am inspired and honored to continue his work, his work of manifesting love with our thinking and our words and our intention. Love and freedom is at the core of all that is known as NVC.
With tremendous gratitude to Dr. Marshall Rosenberg (1934 to 2015) for this gift of a highly practical way to manifest love. Each of us in the community known as HoustonNVC dedicate ourselves anew to spreading this beautiful work, sharing with any who are willing to receive it, any willing to open their heart and find the capacity that is already there for compassion and happiness.
With a deep bow, farewell Marshall.
and Board members of HoustonNVC:
I met Marshall for the first time in 1993, when a visit to Israel coincided with his leading a workshop there. From then and until his last visit to San Francisco in 2008, I was with him for dozens of days, listening to every word, imprinting them deeply in me, and then unpacking his sayings in my mind as part of finding my own way to pass along to others the once-in-a-lifetime gifts that I received from him.
During one of his visits, Marshall sat with a group of trainers in someone's home and wept about how much he didn't want to be a "guru." That moment stays with me as a reminder of his profound commitment to a lived vision of radical equality. The other strong memory that stays with me is seeing him laugh, a frequent occurrence when he was connected with a group.
Although Marshall's biggest actual effect was on hundreds of thousands of individuals whose lives were transformed by what he taught, what he most wanted to accomplish was a systemic change that would bring an end to violence, exploitation, and all forms of injustice. His sight was on a future in which we humans reorganize systems and structures in all areas of life to align with the principles of Nonviolent Communication.
Although Marshall had retired a few years ago, he was still there. With his passing, I suddenly feel like an elder, along with others from my "generation" of trainers, ever more deeply committed to the calling. I sense that I am not alone in this; that many of us are drawn to taking even more responsibility for carrying forth the extraordinary potential that we see in this body of work.
In peace and hope,