By: Francisco Gomes de Matos

Be a peaceful bridgeperson between/among persons, groups, communities.

  • By viewing and treating conflicts and controversies positively
  • By convincing others cooperatively, rather than coercively
  • By implementing a culture of compassion

Dignify your daily dialogue at home, at work, and at school.

  • By addressing persons/groups with respectful, dignifying language
  • By using Positivizers (nouns, verbs, adjectives which can enhance positive qualities in people/organizations).

(To see an example of verbal positivizers in English, see: www.estudenaaba.com. Click on Media, then on posters, and on English. Look for the poster Using Positivizers – Verbs.)

Humanize your texts.

  • By avoiding/preventing/mitigating verbal harm
  • By positivizing potentially humiliating messages, especially those in hate speech

Act as a peaceful language user at all times.

  • By promoting a passion for peaceful interaction, especially in aggressive, hostile contexts
  • By monitoring your communication (personal/organizational) for their ethical, moral, social, political  values.

May I close with a rhymed reflection:

The more positively we communicate
and the more dignifyingly we interact
the more human dignity we will elevate
and relational peace will  become a fact

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt, reprinted by permission of the author from the book Dignity: A Multidimensional View, published by Dignity Press, 2013.

Guest contributor Francisco Gomes de Matos, PhD is peace linguist from Recife, Brazil. Co-founder and president of the board, ABA Global Education, and a University of Michigan alumnus (masters in linguistics 1960). Francisco is author of the (Portuguese language) Pedagogia da Positividade Comunicação Construtiva em Português (Pedagogy of Positiveness, Communicating Constructively in Portuguese) published in 1996 by the local Federal University of Pernambuco Press.