Can the Social Order Be Transformed through Personal Practice? The Case of Nonviolent Communication - Part 1 of 2
By focusing on NVC process and practice without factoring in the interdependent, systemic dimension we unwittingly diminish the power of NVC. We reinforce the dominant paradigm, rather than challenging it -- making NVC one more tool for compliance. NVC principles can turn against its own purpose in cruel ways. NVC could also empower social change. We'll need our attention on this matter if we are to contribute to transforming the oppression we face and our collective march towards extinction.
We can see throughout many examples in history that when we look for "who" is at fault, and thereby seek social change through shaming that person (or that group), it tends to lead to disastrous long term consequences. Even if it works in the short term. Instead, if we want to end cycles of violence we can seek to understand systemic causes and context of individuals' behaviour. And from there, look for solutions that stem from this understanding.
Given all that we are facing today as a society and a species, amongst some of the things we need is a well nourished heart. To nourish our hearts we need to discern where to wisely put our attention. Here are three practices to reclaim your attention, and replenish your reserves, so that you have the inner resources to do the work that is calling you. They are: train the mind, nourish the heart, and stay connected to purpose.
Trainer Tip: Only after we connect to our unmet need can we make sound decisions that will transform our experience. For example, if you feel bored, connect to your unmet needs (eg. need for understanding the relevance, etc) and then look for strategies that will meet them (eg. ask the speaker how this topic relates to our lives).
To tell the difference between empathy and investigation, watch for distinctions along four different dimensions: energy, subject, intention and trust. These distinctions can help us engage awareness and skill to meet your needs and respond to others’ needs in more direct ways. The more you meet your needs in conscious and direct ways, the more present you can be for others. Read on for more about how to do this.
Is it dangerous for large numbers of people to be absorbing disturbing news alone? Given the intensity of our times, making choices based on conscious awareness and discernment in relation to current events is essential for our ability to stay engaged, and to also wisely meet our collective challenges with agency and power. Here are five tips for how to help stay sane in relation to the news cycle.
Unless we change our collective ways on the planet, we will one day exceed the earth’s carrying capacity. We can only address the planet's very real limits of physical resources at the level of social organization. To operate empathically is to adjust our collective social order and patterns so that resources are more widely available and everyone's needs are met no matter what their output, income, power, circumstances, etc. Can we envision a future where the system is infused with this level of empathy, before it's too late?