Lorna and I have spent many hours together driving through Europe to attend meetings, conferences and milestone moments related to our work as trainers in Nonviolent Communication (NVC), she at the wheel and me as her grateful passenger telling tales to entertain her. During those times, we delved into the complexities of our upbringings, our hopes, our dreams, our points of view on topics ranging from the precise meaning of NVC founder Marshall Rosenberg’s concept of ‘street giraffe’ to the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement and climate change. What started as Lorna’s offer of a lift to a professional event has since blossomed into a beautiful connection between two people of different ages, genders, social backgrounds and outlooks. What unites us is a desire to see a better, fairer world where people learn to communicate and reach out to each other using NVC. We both long for a world of peace, empathy and compassion, and lots of fun. The fruit of our friendship and our conversations is this book. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I have enjoyed the times recounted in it. Godfrey Spencer, certified NVC trainer (CNVC), consultant and mediator.
In these chapters, you’ll glimpse the impact the concept of Nonviolent Communication, domestic violence, wars and love have had on mine and Godfrey’s lives wrapped in a unique travelogue and a culinary tour through Europe. But more than that, this book is, in essence, the story of an unlikely friendship. If friendship is the key to some of life’s treasures, then empathy is the lock that opens the door to that rich human experience, always allowing us opportunities to come closer together rather than remain separate. Lorna Ritchie, certified NVC trainer (CNVC), mediator, facilitator, business coach.