The 8 Laws of Change: How to Be an Agent of Personal and Social Transformation

8laws8 LAWS OF CHANGE by Stephan A. Schwartz packs centuries of time-tested wisdom about how to successfully effect long-lasting positive change in the world. Schwartz shares insights from five decades of his personal experiences, starting with the American civil rights movement of the 1960s, and continuing forward to today. Until 8 LAWS OF CHANGE, those of us striving to achieve social goals with small community groups have relied upon good intentions and good luck when bringing together people of different experiences and viewpoints. To say results are not guaranteed is an understatement! I’m grateful to have been involved in a few successful projects involving a small groups of dedicated individuals working in the face of opposition and with limited resources. People working together to improve the world need help holding a consistent vision of long-term goals without individuals pushing their specific beliefs or agendas— and 8 LAWS OF CHANGE serves as the best book I’ve yet seen that provides a guide for accomplishing that. Schwartz’s 8 LAWS OF CHANGE are key success factors responsible for having brought about change in American society in such areas as: civil rights, women’s suffrage, public education, and environmental protection. Schwartz introduces the 8 LAWS OF CHANGE by expressing astonishment that every successful movement for social change he lists began with “a few Quakers joining together in common intention.” Individuals and the group: share a common intention; have goals but not cherished outcomes; accept they may not see change in their lifetime; accept lack of credit or acknowledgement; enjoy fundamental equality; foreswear all violence; make private selves consistent with public postures; and act from the beingness of life-affirming integrity. Choosing my favorite part of this book is challenging, since it’s so well written, and filled with fascinating accounts and people. Some chapters share a successful case history, and others delve into important topics such as: taking the long view, the power of nonviolence, the issue of authority, the power of intentioned awareness, and nonlocal consciousness.

CynthiaSpeakerI’m especially fond of investigating matters of nonlocal consciousness and intentioned awareness, and was pleased to see that these chapters provided current research findings and useful practical tips. Highly recommended!

–Reviewed by Cynthia Sue Larson,

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