We can help ourselves to Peace.
Let’s begin with recognizing that we are angry people. We have been injured to the point of not being able to recognize our own feelings. We have been taught that our needs don’t matter.
Some of us have learned to use physical violence to get others to do what we want. Might makes right. Many more of us learned to use guilt, shame and manipulation to get what we want, but the biggest lesson we learn is to either submit or rebel.
We have been slaves to a hierarchy that is destroying the planet and all of humanity along with it. We have suffered for too long under the competitive/Dominator model of society. Now is the time for the cooperative/Participator model.
Many of us have bought into a belief that having money and things will bring happiness, joy, fulfillment. It will make their lives complete. Or we have been taught that life is meant to be difficult, dreary and our rewards will be given to us after we die.
Those at the top of the dominator model are also hurting. Their wealth is a lie and when they get to the top they find only emptiness. Their relationships are empty. They are alone and frightened and they cover that with anger. It’s someone else’s fault that they are not complete. The hoarders are not served by the model they live under. They are only held sway by what they’ve been taught. Offer them your compassion too.
But first, have compassion for yourself.
It is in your best interest to neither submit or rebel. Thoughtful action brings change that creates health for ourselves, our communities and our world.
Begin to be conscious of your own anger and distress. Speak to yourself what you are feeling. Identify what you need from yourself or another. Start here, now. Peace begins with you.
10 Things We Can Do to Contribute to Internal, Interpersonal, and Organizational Peace
(1) Spend some time each day quietly reflecting on how we would like to relate to ourselves and others.
(2) Remember that all human beings have the same needs.
(3) Check our intention to see if we are as interested in others getting their needs met as our own.
(4) When asking someone to do something, check first to see if we are making a request or a demand.
(5) Instead of saying what we DON’T want someone to do, say what we DO want the person to do.
(6) Instead of saying what we want someone to BE, say what action we’d like the person to take that we hope will help the person be that way.
(7) Before agreeing or disagreeing with anyone’s opinions, try to tune in to what the person is feeling and needing.
(8) Instead of saying “No,” say what need of ours prevents us from saying “Yes.”
(9) If we are feeling upset, think about what need of ours is not being met, and what we could do to meet it, instead of thinking about what’s wrong with others or ourselves.
(10) Instead of praising someone who did something we like, express our gratitude by telling the person what need of ours that action met.
The Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) would like there to be a critical mass of people using Nonviolent Communication language so all people will get their needs met and resolve their conflicts peacefully.