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The Practical Peacemaker

How Simple Living Makes Peace Possible

Kate Lawrence

The Practical Peacemaker shows how compassionate people concerned about violence, inequity, and environmental destruction can, by living simply, transform their lives into an effective statement for peace. Everyday choices, if arising from ethical intention, can make a substantial difference. Written especially for those who have despaired of being able to make any meaningful response, The Practical Peacemaker empowers as it outlines a broader vision than has been articulated by previous books on simple living. To become peacemakers, we need to pay as much attention to what is happening in our thinking as we do to downsizing our budget or clearing our clutter.

The book examines such peace-destroying personal habits as careless eating and drinking, overbusy schedules, seeking instant gratification, and anger. It goes on to consider societal obstacles to peace, such as advertising, media saturation, rudeness, prejudice, environmental degradation, and overpopulation. At both the personal and societal levels, readers are shown specific positive actions they can take, without waiting for others to change, which will further the cause of peace in themselves and in the world.

Reviews & Endorsements:

This slender and quietly written book reminds us of the powerful connection between individual actions and political realities. Lawrence outlines personal (such as unexamined opinions) and political (such as environmental degradation) obstacles to peace in the world, and the ways in which simple commitments to living simply can contribute to peace.

—Teresa Scollon, Book Review Editor
Kate Lawrence's The Practical Peacemaker lays out a blueprint for improving one's inner peace and outer footprint, making a case that simplifying one's life by addressing both personal and societal obstacles will go a long way toward healing much of what ails us. Lawrence, a longtime activist and current Zen student, directs her readers to forsake flesh, do less, and deal with anger. Societal obstacles to peace include advertising, the media, environmental degradation, and overpopulation. Lawrence's ultimate message is that peace is possible if we take only what we need so that there is enough for everyone. Practical Peacemaker is a thin volume (128 pages), and several of its points feel abbreviated. Many of these could have been expanded. I wanted to read more of what Lawrence has to say; she astutely puts into words what I'm certain many of us feel.

128 pp.  
5" x 8"

Lantern Books


Published:  March 2009


Kate Lawrence is a writer and activist on environmental and vegetarian issues, and a retired reference librarian. She spent ten years as a full-time church administrator, founded a Buddhist sangha, and has studied and practiced several other paths, both religious and non-religious. She has been consciously simplifying her life for the last twenty-five years. She is married to Keith Akers and lives in Denver, Colorado, where her current work is as co-organizer of Denver Vegans. See all books by Kate Lawrence

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