Our culture of countless conflicts has been created over many, many years. I am not out to point fingers at any culprits, I know from the past that doesn’t allow for understanding and it hinders harmony between the pointed and myself. Given that our brains are impressionable and have undergone cultural programming that heightens fear and encourages evaluations, I think we have all contributed to its current state. My hope is to highlight, as gently as I can, what I see that is blocking us all from experiencing peace within ourselves and in our global community.
We have been taught to react and re–evaluate.
We CAN rewire our responses by rebooting our compassionate core.
What I see is a world divided by 6.9 billion opinions about what is right and wrong, good or bad, things you should do, things you should not do… where we end up as either winners or losers. I don’t think it is realistic, possible, or even desirable, for us all to be in agreement on everything. I certainly do not foresee us all converting to the same spiritual or religious path, and I personally don’t believe any organized group has all the answers.
(click on collage for a closer/clearer view)
SO…where can a common ground be found?
We as humans are three dimensional, diverse, and distinct. Our lives lived out in the world are also multi-dimensional, too interestingly complex to simplify and condense into good/bad, right/wrong, best/worst. Unfortunately, we try to make life black and white, leaving little room for all the vibrant variety, compassion for our countless circumstances, nor for taking the time to perceive and ponder our many personal perspectives.
I wanna break out of this division ….cuz for me…
Unity is hot, dope, sweet, epic, cool, funky, euphoric, even erotic.
Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, founder of NVC, has investigated how this great division among us has contributed to communication that he calls “life alienating”, where we continuously create more divisions between us, amplifying our disconnection. One kind of alienating communication is the use of “moralistic judgments that imply wrongness or badness on the part of the people who don’t act in harmony with our values.”
Everything we experience in life is entered into our brains, aka The Great Evaluator, which has been wired on fear to run the judge program: ‘must evaluate all incoming data’. This data could be an article we read, a movie we see, or clothes on another’s back. ALL that we hear, see, smell, touch, and taste become opportunities for pokes: judgments, criticisms, comparisons, diagnoses, labels, blaming, and insults. This program perpetuates poking and pain for everyone. Sometimes the pokes are more of a defense or counterattack: a beat out with blame. “It’s not my fault we were late. You are the one who forgot the directions.” “Your problem is that you are too lazy, that’s why you won’t amount to very much.” “They are all crazy.” We also self-deprecate: beat in with shame. “I’m a clumsy scatterbrained kook.” “I am pathetic. Even he thinks I am lazy, I’ll never amount to anything.” “I am crazy!” Ouch!
Another kind of judgment is actually an acknowledgment of what we value in life, a value judgment. There is a difference. Marshall describes it this way: “Value judgments reflect our beliefs of how life can best be served. We make moralistic judgments of people and behaviors that fail to support our value judgments.” Someone may say “littering is bad” or “people who litter are careless and inconsiderate.” Had we been shown more to operate on the love program of consideration and compassion, we would have been taught how to articulate ourselves and share how we feel and what we value without implying wrongness when we have undesirable feelings and our values have not been met. Then we may hear more of this, “I feel sad when I see trash on the side of the road. I so wish to live in a world that honors the beauty of our shared home.” That’s a version you can choose. Personally, I enjoy taking time to fully express myself and use words as my tools. Although, sometimes I like to simplify and use more ‘street’ language, “So not cool to see all this sh!t on the ground. It’d be so cool to see it clean!”
We are like slaves to our programming where someone, something is to blame. We are constantly asking ourselves, “How shall I direct my evaluation?”
Here are some more ways we as fabulously flawed,imperfectly perfect, evolving Humans are dividing ourselves.
Denial of Responsibility: I think we are just confused with the question, “Where do feelings come from?” Many of us are unable to own our feelings, so we credit or blame others for them, “You make me feel inspired”, or “It’s all your fault I’m pissed off.” And when we see someone close in pain, we often take the blame, “It’s my fault you are feeling this way. I should have been able to make you happy.”
Your feelings are born inside you. It is impossible for another to control your emotional state.
It can be liberating to own your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
You are not an emotional slave. You are not responsible for the feelings of others.
Demands: Um… I don’t think anyone on Earth actually enjoys being told what to do, especially when it is expressed by way of a demand that is either subtly or not so subtly threatening. You know it’s a demand if, when it is not complied with, there will be some kind of punishment. This is very common, especially among those with authority.
Life-alienating communication encourages us to see our actions as either deserving reward or punishment. “That litterer deserves a fine and community service, picking up trash with his bare hands.” Dr. Rosenberg states it this way, “It assumes ‘badness’ on the part of people who behave in certain ways, and calls for punishment to make them repent and change their behavior.” I agree with Marshall. Change that is real, lasting, and meaningful is change that you choose, because it is an expression of who you want to be, and you believe it will benefit you.
Our misses of Communication:
defensive diagnosis, demeaning deprecation,
denial, demands, and deciding deserved-ness,
are such a dis to connection
and a distortion of Us.
We have the potential to push ourselves beyond outdated ways of thinking from our past and recreate a revitalized reawakened way of looking at ourselves and the World.
All quotes are from:
Rosenberg, Marshall. The Nonviolent Communication Training Course: Sounds True, 2006. Print.