Recently, I was having a conversation with David Steele in which we discussed how often people, politicians, and the media have a tendency to make statements of opinion as if they are fact. For example, I’ve read headlines that make a statement that is not necessarily true based on the quotes and evidence in the article. I find it puzzling. But then I realize that it’s happening all the time. Not just in the headlines, but in so much of what people say.
What I’d like to call our attention to is the way that words create reality. They can become self-fulfilling prophecies. Since it’s happening all the time, I’d like to see it done in a way that embodies more consciousness and resourcefulness.
I find it particularly relevant now because the political arena is currently so charged. I suspect that many people see these forces as something outside themselves, but it’s not. It’s not outside us. It’s US! We’re creating the world we live in through every thought, action, belief, and spoken word. The media and the politicians cannot tell us what reality is. In fact, what’s currently happening is proof of that. A year ago, we were hearing, “There’s no way Trump could become president.” Uhm… okay….
Political & Civil Discourse. It’s on most of our minds these days with the presidential election season drawing near. We all have opinions about the best strategies to meet our needs based on our values. I certainly do!
What I recognize is that my interpretation of events and my feelings about them are born largely out of my core beliefs. I’m not afraid because I believe fundamentally in the natural goodness of human beings. I see how each one of us is trying to meet needs. Even when I don’t agree on the strategies, I still feel compassion.
I hear a lot of people expressing fear around the things they hear Donald Trump saying. Yet, from my perspective, the fear doesn’t necessarily help because it gives credence to the idea that certain strategies WILL become the dominant strategies in our country. But the truth is, other strategies could just as easily take precedence. I suggest focusing on ones that reflect our values and are resourceful.
I’m not saying, “Don’t be afraid.” Of course, people will feel what they feel. I’m suggesting that we are all looking through a lens that shapes our reality and I, for one, am not afraid that things are getting worse. I see good, loving, compassionate people all over the place and they are not going away no matter who becomes president.
We can just as easily create an Empire of Peace as any other kind of Empire. Marshall Rosenberg started out crawling in diapers just like the rest of us, and look at what he created. I think his legacy will last far beyond any that Donald Trump leaves. That’s where I put my focus. It doesn’t mean I ignore the pain in the world. It means I focus on what keeps me resourceful.
Symbolic of our changing times, in a Vanity Fair article, it was reported that the new CEO of Microsoft, “Nadella, despite his long career at Microsoft—and his similarities to Gates—is in fundamental ways a break from the past. He has had his executive team read Nonviolent Communication.”
That’s worth repeating. The new CEO of Microsoft has had his executive team read Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg.
See, that’s where I put my focus. That is the reality I live in. I live in a country where the CEO of a mega-corporation has had his executive team read Nonviolent Communication.
I invite you to take a deep breath and really let it sink in.