Inner Michael » Declare Peace with Words…

Declare Peace with Words…

Voices Education Project Unveils a New Curriculum

I have been in love with words for as long as I can remember. Sixth grade is when I confessed my yearning to my teacher—to become a writer. She told me to find a place to write and to write every day. I set up a tiny table and chair with a lamp in my closet and began to write. I still write every day but I have come out of the closet.

I dreamed of being on assignment with a global news organization. But then I became enamored with medicine and the human body. Instead I became a healer. And now I am a healer with words.

My website, One Wordsmith, features humanitarian stories—the art of story is what portrays, and possibly makes us, human. My tag line at One Wordsmith says “writing to simply change the world.” And I mean that. We are all one story away from changing the world. Occasionally I have written for a humanitarian organization called Voices Education Project. Voices is all about story, human story and humane story. They are also a pedagogical institute and they write curricula for students.

In the last year, I have embarked on a most unusual  spiritual journey. In my life, I have had many amazing teachers from many traditions. They include: His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ram Das, Michael Beckwith and Rickie BB, James Twyman, Neale Donald Walsch, Penelope Smith, Doreen Virtue, Gregg Braden, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Andrew Harvey and His Holiness the Dalai Lama to name a few. I suppose you could consider me a spiritual groupie.

I always thought that when I got closer to retirement, you would find me on the shores of the Ganges, or in Cairo at Giza or perhaps at the Dharma center at Dharamsala with His Holiness Tenzin Gayatso. And I would be writing about the spiritual leaders and their teachings.

If you had told me that I would be sitting at the feet of the Dalai Lama, I would not have been surprised. But had you told me that as my work years waned, I would be sitting at the feet of a man wearing sparkle socks and standing on his toes, I would have thought you mad. Had you told me he was an extraterrestrial moonwalker, I would have laughed. And had you told me my latest teacher would be  Pop Music Icon Michael Jackson, I would have run for my life!

After Michael Jackson died, I went to see his movie This Is It in October of 2009. The movie is about his last concert being planned in London. Something happened during that movie. Maybe it was my shamanic training or maybe it was a little Michael magic, but I saw something unusual on that screen and found myself curious and compelled to research his life. What I found stunned me. I had to write about it.

What I have learned spiritually from Michael Jackson could fill volumes. Along the way of discovering how unjustly he was treated while alive and how misinformed the public is about the real Michael, I discovered something else very disturbing. We are both victims and perpetrators of words used violently. Words cause harm, they destroy people, they lead to suicide, they reduce people to objects and yes, they even kill.

My journey has led me to a discovery of how much of a humanitarian and cheerleader for humanity was one Michael Jackson and it has  led me into the darkest of places—researching some shadow humanity, the dark side.

That discovery led to me doing a feature article and tribute for Voices Education Project.

Michael Jackson: Spiritual Messenger Hiding in Plain Sight

And that tribute led me to ask Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of Voices, about a curriculum for children that addresses the violence done with words. Marilyn said, “yes” to the idea of a curriculum and invited me to join her in writing it. For the case studies, I recruited Michael admirers and coached and edited their case studies for the curriculum. What has come out of that collaborative effort is nothing less than amazing. I invite you to take a look at this stunning body of work at Voices Education Project (dot) org.

This work of art and love is dedicated to the memory of Michael Joseph Jackson and Lady Diana Spencer. 
May your work on behalf of humanity finally be recognized for what it was—
art in the service of humanity. May your memory be indelibly written on the face of humanity’s evolution toward its own brilliance and in the volumes that chronicle the journey toward a more humane narrative on this planet.
May the lives and gifts that you so generously gave to and for the humans on this globe be held in
 the highest honor and esteem they so richly deserve.
May we learn from the lessons you taught this world and may we also become worthy of your sacrifice.
 May we soon come to understand that words can heal with the same magnitude that they harm.
And may the children of the future learn that now from you.
Rest in peace gentle and magnanimous spirits.
“We love you more.” 


Yes, we can change the world. Yes we can make the world a better place as Michael taught. “Change the World” he said in his song Man in The Mirror. “Heal the World” he taught in his concerts where he featured a tank rolling onstage and a soldier reduced to tears and to non-violence by a child offering a flower in a gesture of peace. (A flower child.)

Michael Jackson is not who they said he was. He was a consummate humanitarian portrayed as something other by a kind of rampant madness. If you want to know how words harm and how they heal, take a look. If you want your schools to learn it, tell your teachers and superintendents about the program.

And if you want to know who Michael Jackson really was, not the Caricature painted by the media, take a look at his case study—it’s in the curriculum. If you want to know what Lady Diana’s public life was like and how and why she died, look in the case studies. If you want to know why Michael Jackson’s skin changed to white, and why he carried umbrellas—take a look at the case studies. And if you want to know what Michael did for kicks on his nights off—find his secret in the case studies.

A meme is words or ideas gone viral. We are one meme away from changing the world. We are one collective movement away from a more humane narrative on this planet.

Want to change the world? Go to Voices Education and Tweet and Facebook and talk to your educators and administrators, share the stories, spread the word, stay tuned for some contests coming up and start a movement to Declare Peace with words– start watching and choosing carefully, your words.

You may take a look at the curriculum by going to the link. To browse through it like a book, click on the title of the next entry on the bottom right of the page.

 Voices Education Project Unveils Word and Violence


  1. Suvie said . . .

    And had you told me my latest teacher would be Pop Music Icon Michael Jackson, I would have run for my life!

    Years ago, I read a very beautiful book that touched me…”Illusions” by Richard Bach. In the introduction it said,
    “There was a Master come unto the earth, born in the holy land of Indiana…”

    Posted September 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Permalink
  2. lmat said . . .

    Words are lacking this morning. The feelings are happiness, gratitude, hope, admiration, love, longing and satisfaction. May this work move into the future and touch new hearts and open minds to the possibilities of a better world through more compassion and concern for our shared humanity. Thank you Barbara and thank you to the little moonwalker who inspired this work.

    Posted September 9, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
  3. marga1961 said . . .

    Rev. B. I’m so glad you DON’T sit at the feet of the Dalai Lama! WE need you here with your words. ThanXXX Marga from the Netherlands. It’s so good for our bereavement that there is an Internet to meet all people from around the Blue Planet!

    Posted September 9, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Permalink
  4. Jan said . . .

    Yes! I have been near tears all day. Reading the dedication just tears me up. We (the world) have so needed this. We have allowed this terrible massacre of our brightest and best to continue long enough! “There’s nothing that can’t be done if we raise our voice as one!” We have begun a journey and like all journeys, this one begins with a first step. “Words and Violence” the curriculum is our first step. We are so proud of you, Rev. B. From concept to completion – from dreaming to tearing out hair – we have been with you from the first step. Now, take a little breather. We give you permission. Then, we have work to do! Am I being pushy again? Jan

    Posted September 10, 2010 at 12:53 am | Permalink
  5. Cassie said . . .

    There are not enough words to express the emotions that fill me as I read this today. How long? Not long. You cannot stop the power and the will of God. He moves mountains.

    Posted September 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink
  6. Jeanne said . . .

    A teacher’s encouraging words were there for you to inspire you Barbara. We benefit from this and thank you. Your writing is beautiful. The educators of the world are so very important and any educational tool devoted to peace and love has my vote. I love the word “brilliance.” Every kind and encouraging word counts. We all benefit .

    Posted September 10, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
  7. Kim said . . .

    Dear Rev. Barbara, when I first saw your announcement about this project, I thought about participating; however, I felt that I wasn’t qualified, because I am not an educator. So I let it go by and thought that I would see more about it later on. Well I did. For some reason, the idea came back around to me, so I saw that as a sign. When I joined the first conference call, I felt that perhaps I did have something to contribute. After all, I was the recipient of words that hurt when I was a little girl. So I signed on. Today as I read through the curriculum, I am very humbled that I was able to participate in such a wonderful project. If you asked me if I thought I’d be contributing to a curriculum such as this, I would have said no. The content in this curriculum speaks so strongly that it seems to jump out at you while you’re reading. I believe this is a start to the change that you are referring to; you know== the tipping point. I’ve been tweeting and posting on Facebook. I’ve also gone to the Voices website and Facebook page and posted there. I’ve asked my sister to spread the word at work. I’m going to do the same. I spoke about this on a weekly UStream show that takes place in honor of Michael. People were very receptive to the curriculum. Melanie who runs the show indicated that this was something that they most certainly will stand behind and they will spread the word. I met Melanie in New York on 6/25. She really tries to keep things respectful. While I was explaining about the curriculum on the show, people were thanking me on the chat for sharing and were already on the website. It was amazing to see how fast people were taking to the idea. So you see, it’s already begun. We may not be hearing it on the news, but people are talking. I think both Michael and Lady Diana would be proud to stand next to you because your work is very important. Your initiation of this project is a perfect example of how you strive to heal the world with words. I thank you for that and I thank you for letting me share in this wonderful opportunity.

    Posted September 11, 2010 at 6:30 am | Permalink
  8. Jennifer said . . .

    Thank you so very much for your hard work, energy, dedication and love. I am so very tired of the assaults I, and the rest of humanity have to endure by the media. Just last weekend the CBC in Canada aired a slanderous, ugly, dated documentary on Michael Jackson. Repeatedly. I have written letters… I know I must have faith the truth will prevail. There must be a way to take legal action. It is a crime to lie, manipulate, and assault not only Michael but my family. Your family. This is violence, words do kill and not only the ones they were intended to. I hope the world will work towards holding these many offenders accountable. IF hate won’t let go in this time, perhaps we need to have new laws to break the habit, to deter. I will continue to send love and light to fill their hearts and open their eyes. LOVE

    Posted September 11, 2010 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  9. admin said . . .

    Jennifer, Please send me the CBC contact information privately. And keep the faith, hon. I believe in us too. ~Rev. B)

    Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink
  10. admin said . . .

    I wish with all my heart that they WERE standing next to me, Kim. Breathing, alive, and still healing the world. I miss them painfully. We’ve got to stope killing our treasures. ~Rev. B.

    Posted September 11, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Permalink
  11. Charlene said . . .

    I am humbled and honored to be a part of this tremendous piece of work! It has been a privilege to work with each and every one of you who contributed your gift and your heart to this project. I especially thank you, Barbara, for your vision and your dedication to seeing it through to completion. I know there must have been a time or two when you thought about giving it up, but you didn’t, and you kept us on track and motivated to continue this journey right along with you! The heart and soul that went into “Words and Violence” from everyone involved is evident in the quality of each piece and the curriculum as a whole. I think we can all feel confident that this first step is a giant step toward making the world a better place. I feel God and Michael and Lady Diana applauding, for we have done a good thing!

    Posted September 12, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

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