In these times of chaos and turmoil, it can be hard to find a creative response. But it is possible.
Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a method which allows us to "get inside another person's head" in order to communicate from the heart.
Locana, an NVC practitioner, recently said:
This morning on the BBC interview on TV, Ed Milliband said he couldn't 'get inside' the mind-set of those people who were rioting – and yet, of course, that's what is needed for the situation to change.
We need to 'get inside' in some way, so that we can stop approaching the rioters as 'them', and seeing everyone else as 'us'. Because this is the very polarisation that's causing the damage. (As a hooded youth from Manchester put it last night, 'we're going to show the police!')
The situations and actions of those causing the riots are part of our situation and our actions. Unless we realise this, we are living in a world of 'either-or' – where it's either your needs that are met, or mine. Alienated, exiled voices will always rebel and protest in some way. It creates a paradigm of conflict – so no wonder it produces and gives rise to conflict.
To begin the process of change, we need to transform the deep paradigm of 'either-or' within ourselves. If we can truly experience and believe that it's always 'both-and', then we can speak and act in a way which includes others, rather than alienating them. This is a place where we can hold the various different needs of different people, contradictory and diverse though those may be; so that differences are held within our common framework, and supported and honoured. Only then, I believe, do we move away from polarising thought-patterns and behaviours. Unless we do this, it's salutary to reflect that we are living in exactly the same paradigm as the rioters – our outlook is the same, even if the way we express it in action is different.
Click here to read Locana's blog: What Can the Riots Teach Me about Communication?
Click here to read more about NVC.
We can find a positive way forward from this situation. We need to remember that each and every one of us can make a difference.
Click here for info about my workshops in London.