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Exploring and discussing a variety of relationship topics and issues for people in all kinds of relationships; including partnerships, family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, roommates and more.

Aug 3, 2021

David LaMotte is an award-winning musician, speaker, and author. I’ve known David and have been a huge fan of his music for about 20 years, watching his concerts in Asheville and Black Mountain many times over the years. But it was through his book, Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness, that I got to know his work in peacebuilding. David is someone who has spent many years of his life cultivating peace, both within himself and in his community. In 2008, he suspended his career in music to accept a Rotary World Fellowship and study International Relations, Peace, and Conflict Resolution at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. He has spoken and facilitated conversations about race, privilege, and positive change, and his talk for TEDxAsheville discusses how music can teach us how to understand peace and conflict. He is the Co-Founder and President of PEG Partners, a non-profit for literacy, critical thought, and artistic expression in Guatemala, and was named “Madison World Changer” for his work in the country.

Today, David is writing his next book, tentatively titled “Harmony: What Music Can Teach Us About Peacemaking in a Troubled Time.”

David joins me today to dive deep into what peacemaking is. We discuss the importance of building inner peace so we can portray it outward in our homes and communities. We explain the etymology of pacifism and highlight why it’s not just about being passive. We describe the role of hope in activism, the usefulness of vulnerability as a means of change, and the impact of creativity in interrupting hate and prejudice. We also underscore the power of names and words as well as contemplate the wisdom of the civil rights movement and activists such as John Lewis and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


“The work of peacebuilding is about approaching conflict in constructive ways.” - David LaMotte


This week on Relationships! Let’s Talk About It:

  • Rethinking peacemaking and how David’s first understanding of peace and harmony has evolved
  • Why it’s important to distinguish kindness from niceness
  • How peace requires stepping towards conflict, not away from it
  • Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and how conflict leads to deeper understanding in a relationship
  • How couples can work on conflict resolution
  • The two facets of sensitivity and using sensitivity to move towards somebody
  • Choosing vulnerability as a means of change and a look at the model of the civil rights movement
  • Non-violence, its misconceptions, and why pacifism isn’t about being passive
  • The activism of love and our cultural narrative about what hope means
  • The relationship between inner peace, outer peace, and activism
  • Why the only way to know what integrity is to be out of it
  • The name of peace and why I changed my name
  • How David cultivates peace in his family
  • An exercise in conflict mediation
  • Creative interruption and the Coup Clutz Clown counter-rally
  • David’s principles for recognizing social privilege
  • Accepting the possibility of human transformation


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Resources Mentioned:


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Let’s Talk About It!

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Theme music “These Streets” provided by Adi the Monk