We started our second class of Nonviolent | Compassionate Communication Classes yesterday and our third group will start tomorrow! Immersing myself in this training has shifted how I view the world and myself in the world. I read differently. I hear the news differently! I feel more free than I ever have! What a joy to have a “life enriching” journey of exploration.
The Quakers say, “Let your life speak.”
Gaining the sight to connect the dots of how, where, when, why hearts are opening is like finding a new pair of glasses! It takes time, many, many attempts of trying them on to see if they fit and being willing to see it through to the end and then realizing within a particular amount of time it is again time for a new pair of glasses – again. Embodying the principles of nonviolent | compassionate communication has been that new pair of glasses for me! A new filter, if you will.
Two stories on NPR caught my attention this week and alerted my senses to affirm . . . the Culture of Peace is Alive and Prospering!
Kirk, who recently returned to the Senate after suffering a significant stroke, suggested in a statement that his near-death experience has changed his perspective. “When I climbed the Capitol steps in January, I promised myself that I would return to the Senate with an open mind and greater respect for others,” he said. “Same-sex couples should have the right to civil marriage. Our time on this earth is limited, I know that better than most. Life comes down to who you love and who loves you back — government has no place in the middle.” – Washington Post, 4/2/13
Tuesday evening the City of Bisbee, Arizona voted 5-2 to become first city in the state to offer civil-union certificates for all couples that would extend to same-sex partners some of the same rights as married couples within the Bisbee boundaries.
According to Alia Beard Rau of The Republic | azcentral.com, City Attorney John MacKinnon defended the move, saying the civil-union ordinance “does not change state laws” and that the state had no legal standing to fight it.MacKinnon said he was proud to bring the issue to the council. “I think for too long many of us have been silent while we have witnessed discrimination against some in this community,” he said. “It’s time to stand up.”1
Also on Tuesday, Democratic Sen. Tom Carper of Delaware announced, on his facebook page, support for marriage equality saying he came to his decision “after a great deal of soul searching.”
Carper invoked the Golden Rule while explaining his conclusion that all Americans should be able to marry the person they love, regardless of sexual orientation. He says, “As our society has changed and evolved, so too has the public’s opinion on gay marriage — and so has mine.”
– Beaumont Enterprise, 4/2/13
The man who opened the floodgates, Ohio Senator Rob Portman, “I’m announcing today a change of heart on an issue that a lot of people feel strongly about that has to do with gay couples’ opportunity to marry,” Portman told CNN. “I’ve come to the conclusion that for me, personally, I think this is something that we should allow people to do, to get married, and to have the joy and stability of marriage that I’ve had for over 26 years. That I want all of my children to have, including our son, who is gay,” said Portman. “My son came to Jane, my wife, and I, told us that he was gay, and that it was not a choice, and that it’s just part of who he is, and that’s who he’d been that way for as long as he could remember,” said Portman. When asked what would Portman say to gay constituents who may be glad he’s changing his position on gay marriage, but also wondering why it took having a gay son to come around to supporting their rights? “Well, I would say that, you know, I’ve had a change of heart based on a personal experience. That’s certainly true,”
As engaged members of the human race and spirit beings having a human experience on planet earth, learning about the process of change may or may not be of interest to you – however – it is of great interest to me. Because i am so engaged with my desire to elevate the human condition. I am intrigued as to what is the way to insert my energy, can be somewhat lazy or discerning about where i want to spend my time.
Finding ways of expressing how much i care and why i have a desire that you care about a particular social challenge is part of my lifes work with being invested in creating a culture of peace. It is easy to get lost in the day to day white noise of society and lose sight of the miraculous changes that are occurring at an impressive rate right in front of us. Interestingly, a few of the most basic necessities for a culture of peace to take blossom and be visible to larger groups of people are:
- Being able to identify through our personal experiences why a particular change (marriage equality is the example in this instance) matters.
- Connecting the dots in an manner that is “life-enriching” to take from Marshall Rosenberg, Ph.D, in other words, How is it going to make a difference in my life? Why should I care?
Research shows that focusing on what is wrong invites blame, causes fatigue, builds resistance, and fails to draw on people’s passions and experience. University of Wisconsin researchers illustrated the value of positive feedback after ﬁlming two bowling teams. They gave the teams different videos to review: one showing only mistakes, the other showing only successes. The team that reviewed its own successes was able to improve its performance far more than the team that reviewed only its own errors.2 Focusing on life affirming aspects is an effective approach to creating a culture of peace and regenerative change.
Finally, lead by example, communicate your story of change of heart, LISTEN and practice self-empathy and the tools of giving empathy to those with whom you are engaged. Look for the opportunities to interact and be life enriching in your environment.
- Arouse the heart, and you’ll engage the mind.
- Offer inspiration, and the information will be received.
- When people know how much you care they will then be interested in how much you know!
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.
– Albert Einstein
annie loyd, peace walker
1-http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20130402bisbee-legalizes-civil-unions.html?nclick_check=1 2-Winning hearts and minds: The secrets of sustaining change. http://www.mckinsey.com/App_Media/Reports/Financial_Services/McKLean_Winning.pdf