Steve Torma on the Value of Compassion
Steve Torma laughs when he remembers his first exposure to nonviolent communication (NVC), the system of compassionate human relations developed by psychologist Marshall Rosenberg. As a fresh-faced 25-year-old at the Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida, he attended exactly one afternoon in-service program about the practice. “I thought that I knew what NVC was after that introduction!” he recalls.
But it wasn’t until 2007 that Steve truly began to understand the transformative potential of NVC. After an eight-week intensive course by one of Compassion Camp’s facilitators, Jerry Donoghue, he saw that the practice went far beyond a way of talking with others. “It’s a postmodern understanding of what all religions basically talk about at their core, which is the Golden Rule: Love thy neighbor as thyself,” Steve says. “For me, NVC has become a spiritual path.”
Since that revelation, Steve has founded The REAL Center and 10,000 Love Letters, two projects for spreading the word of NVC, and has instructed nearly 600 people in the practice. He brings that mission to Earthaven in partnership with School of Integrated Living (SOIL) through Compassion Camp, taking place August 15-18. Read Steve’s interview on the School of Integrated Living website, where he shares more about the camp, the power of NVC, and its value to sustainability advocates.
Compassion Camp is a four-day event for adults and children where we create a community of people who learn, play, and celebrate together, empowered to send each other back into the world to spread these seeds of justice and love. Our time together is designed to foster community among the growing number of people who are passionate about living and promoting compassionate consciousness. Be inspired, empowered, and connected.