Message from Thom
of Education and Founder, NYCNVC
When I was 12 years old, I picked
up a "Life Magazine". Little
did I know that what I was about to
see in that magazine would change
the course of my life.
As I looked through the pages of a photo essay on a military action that had taken
place in Viet Nam, I saw, for the first time in my life, the reality of war. Up
to that moment, for me, war was a game we played with make-believe guns. No real
blood, no real pain, just a game to be won or lost before we headed home for dinner.
As my eyes scanned the pages, my brain was scurrying like a frightened animal.
As I took in these images, two things happened. First, War and violence became
a horrible reality of my life. And second, I refused to believe it was necessary.
That night, and for several days following, I shared my experience with "the
grownups". They assured me that war was a necessary part of life. I secretly
refused to believe them. And yet, I had no answer to why that was. I looked and
I waited for many years.
In 2001, my wait ended. I read a book titled Nonviolent Communication, A Language
of Life, by Marshall Rosenberg. Marshall showed that there are concepts, skills
and practices that we can develop and use to transcend violence.
I began my study of Marshall's work with the most experienced and skilled trainers
I could find. It wasn't long before I met Marshall and eventually worked with
him here in New York. During that time, it became clear to me that my future held
the potential for a meaningful life, beyond my dreams. In 2002 I sold my house
and closed my engineering company to start The New York Center for Nonviolent
Communication (NYCNVC) in Manhattan.
Since then, with the help of supporters and staff, I have had the honor to introduce
over 50,000 people in over 54 counties to the concepts and skills of compassion.
I've facilitated over 700 classes and workshops, worked at the United Nations,
the New York Public School System, the New York Health and Hospital System, the
New York City Court System and have reached Mayors, Governors and Spiritual Leaders
from faiths and practices throughout the world.
We have a established
vibrant and growing network of NVC practitioners throughout the globe and a comprehensive
set of learning tools, practices, events and infrastructure to grow to impactful
numbers in a relatively short amount of time.
The Compassion Project is the implemention of all that we have learned and created
in the last 11 years.
What Is the Compassion Project?
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