Most of us subject ourselves to so many painful mental jabs and they seldom stimulate helpful change. We can be like a frustrated animal trainer repeatedly whipping an animal, without ever helping the animal to understand what behavior is wanted or offering encouragement. Instead, punishing thoughts can be stepping stones to awareness. We can focus on sensing what we're really aspiring to. This is more likely to eventually produce sustainable change that'll serve us better.
Our world trains us to think in terms of providing for everyone’s needs because they deserve it, earned it, or they possess the resources -- it's fair, socially just, supports equality or because people have rights. Instead, can we step outside this worldview to look at providing for everyone’s needs because those needs exist -- can we hold this basic reverence for life? Are we able to have a needs-based dialogue when such a reframe could alienate those who live in the worldview of earn/deserve?
Perhaps human violence persists because we believe that violence is inevitable and there's nothing we can do about it -— even though there is notable evidence that this is likely not true. Read on for some research and theory on how cultures evolve to be collaborative or violent. Plus, learn benefits of collaboration and downsides to force, punishment, and control. These provide implications for how we might move towards a culture of more peace.
When someone's behavior costs us, we may attempt to negotiate as much as possible. After some rounds of this, if there's no change we may reach a tolerance limit. So we may set a boundary for self care and clarity about what's unworkable. But depending on intentions and the way its said, this may or may not be a punishment to get even. Here, clarity about intentions, feelings, needs, actions and dialogue may support us.
In these exercises, you'll transform your urge to rebel with punishment or reward. Punishing can include withholding love or other necessities, attacking verbally with insults or name calling (directly or with others), giving a "dirty look," or attacking physically. With these exercises you'll allow space for your urge. You'll also explore needs, benefits, consequences, and lternatives.
Trainer Tip: Punitive use of force stems from a belief that people behave in certain ways because they're bad, and that they need to be punished to mend their ways. One way to punish is to judge them. In contrast, protective use of force stems from a desire to prevent injury or injustice. It focuses on protecting people’s rights and well-being, not judging their behavior.
When people get hurt or harmed, how can we restore trust, safety and connection in the community? A restorative approach which focuses on who got hurt and how can we restore it? Rather than whose fault is it and how can we punish them?