Monday 25 April 2016

Violence Begins at Home

Soldiers in Africa
Click here for an article about Nonviolent Communication (NVC).

See also:  The Need for Self-Connection.

We all know where violence leads. War, destruction and death on a massive scale, atrocities, terrorism. But where does it begin?

Violence begins at home. I am not just talking about overt physical violence.  But I AM talking about its ROOTS.  

Violence begins in our own minds. In the way that we talk to ourselves about ourselves.

Once we speak about ourselves in ways such as blaming, labelling and judging, it's a very short step to doing the same about others. In Nonviolent Communication (NVC), this is known as “jackal speech”.

When we jackal about ourselves, we disconnect from ourselves and our feelings and needs. When we jackal about others, we create distance between us and them.

Behind every jackal is an unmet need.

We often talk in terms of “them”, wanting “them” to change their behaviour. Wishing “they” would behave differently. But change begins with the self. NVC gives us the tools to bring about real, lasting change in ourselves and the world. When we change the way we communicate, the dialogue can change.

In NVC, needs are universal. We all share the same human needs. We all want to be safe and we all want our children to be safe. We want everyone's children to be safe. So safety is defined in NVC as a need. The problem is, we move away from needs, and jump to strategies to try to meet those needs. We conflict and disconnect on the level of strategies. That's how we, as human beings, end up going to war and experiencing killing, destruction, torture, atrocities, etc. (see above).

Once we connect with our own feelings and needs, we can connect with others', moving, as Ike Lasater says, “From Conflict to Connection”.

Please share this with your networks, and please leave your comments below.  Thanks. 

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