Whether getting our information from the news, social media, or word of mouth, we’re constantly having opinions, trauma and downright negative vibes shoved down our throat.
We are continually confronted by mass emotions from mass events, with nowhere to put them. We stuff it down, or we join the defence.
There is no space anymore to express our feelings without being attacked. There’s a sense of disconnect from others and the world around us.
We feel the need to pick a side and fight for it. We are desperate for connection; yet persist in fixating on our differences.
The Dalai Lama said:
“The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, more healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds”.
I think many of us can agree that while Donald Trump may be successful, we could certainly use a lot less of him.
I choose restorers. I choose to rebuild broken ties. I choose re-establishing a positive dialogue. Re-building self-confidence. Identifying individual needs and addressing them. Let’s talk about how difficult things are at home. Let’s talk about how messed up the world is and how that makes us feel. Let’s talk about racism and feminism and sexual fluidity to understand each other. Let’s talk openly and connect, rather then picking sides of defence or offence.
In my own relationships, I challenge myself to actually listen to understand. In our home we use a talking piece. (Yes we actually do. My partner thought I was crazy when I first brought out a hairbrush and said he could only speak when holding it.) Whenever conversations get heated, not only can we hear each other (loud and clear) now, but we can also focus on understanding each other, instead of preparing our retort because we fear never getting a chance to have our say.
I challenge you to [start within your safest, most comfortable, relationships] have those difficult conversations and express how you are feeling BUT allow the other participant to do the same.
When your mother, brother, grandparent, best friend, teacher, student, stranger becomes angry or unsettled or impolite: sit back and take a moment and think, “hm this individual is acting out, I wonder why?” Take it a step further and ask what do they need? How can you help?
Rather than sitting and judging and making assumptions that this person is an idiot, let empathy be your driving force.
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Community Development Coordinator
Lanark County Community Justice
8 Herriot St Suite 10E Perth ON