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Not much has changed in the 21st Century. Wars and rumors of wars continue to be a part of our human conditioning. It has recently come to my attention that the state of women and children hasn't change near as much as I had believed it would. My nine-year old self believed we would learn from the experiences of war and alter our need for it. She is deeply disappointed and saddened to learn that despite what she has heard all her life about how important it is to take care of our children she has not seen its manifestation.

Most of the nations of the world continue to fail to invest their economic resources to ensure that children are safe, well-fed educated, and cared for. How can the nations of the world invest their resources in children when they are investing them in fear-based activities such as war? The predominate old paradigm thinking continues to keep us afraid of our fellow travelers on this planet and keeps us in unnatural competition that can only lead to the destruction of the human race. Contrary to many beliefs everyone living on this planet is part of the human race whether we like it or not. We do need to make sure that we are safe. After all the grown woman I am knows that safety must come first and then you go from there.

I'm not saying that we need to give up on our protective measures. I just think they have gotten out of control. When you realize that shifting the resources of one ballistic submarine could double the education budgets of 18 poor countries giving millions of children the opportunity for an education which means a better quality of life, it's not rocket science. One of those children could be the one to find a cure for cancer, or for human violence. We have believed that violence and war are just human nature.

However, research on the brain continues to show what conventional wisdom missed. We know that children who are witnesses to violence have altered brain chemistry and hypersensitive to get triggered into freeze-fight-flight reactivity with the slightest provocation. We know our brain is a historical organ and experiences are written in the very cells of our bodies for good or ill. We know that repetitious experiences create patterns of behavior which can be changed though not always easy.

We need to understand that violence isn't just part of being human it is what humans have been doing from a fear-based place of survival of the fittest. This thinking is what is leading us down the path of destruction. We now have the ability in a millisecond to destroy ourselves and our planet. We need to update our thinking and realize that violence continues because we allow it. We allow it in how we treat ourselves, our children and our most vulnerable. We allow it in how we treat each other in our most intimate relationships. In these intimate relationships we learn how to feel, think and treat each other. We need to realize that the violence we see everyday is a reflection of part of our collective humanity. It is also what gets the most press.

All over the world people of all ages and walks of life are joining together in partnership living to stop the violence in their lives and share their love and peace. The world is reflecting we need a better way to live. Nations such as Sweden, Norway and Finland are moving toward what is called the Partnership Model. This model is about shared equal power between women and men with a focus on nurturing and creativity rather than violence and destructiveness. Our thinking has led us to where we are today. A different kind of thinking will be needed to find solutions to these problems. Partnership thinking and living offers possibilities to create a better world for ourselves and most importantly our children. For the nine-year old me, it is an idea whose time has come and one she knows she needs to support. For more information go to Center for Partnership Studies www.partnershipway.org

Deborah Chelette-Wilson is a relationship coach, authoress and speaker whose powerful message for women is "It's time to stop waiting for permission to be all that we can be(without being a bitch about it)." Her inspiring message helps women harness their personal power, find peace within and become part of the shift in creating healthier and more loving relationships, beginning with the one with their self. In order to honor someone else's heart you must first honor your own.

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