Friday, February 21

The Value of Nonviolent Communication 2/21/14

"Like an earring of fine gold is a wise man's reprove to a listening ear."
 Prov. 25:12.  The challenge is learning how to respond, not react, and
how to be loving instead of spiteful, when we are frustrated. 
     I'm featuring a post I wrote nearly a year ago.  Many of my currrent guests haven't read it.  So, here it is:
     Today, I wrote a response in a local paper.  I'm posting it here.  The writer of a column called someone a moron, labeling him as such, in the headline.  I object to
treating others this way, when we disagree with them.

     Quoting from one book at length, I did.  The passage accurately reflects my feelings and need to show everyone dignity, even when disagreeing.  Doing so contributes towards a more loving world and greater peace.  It would be a great advance for mankind if we could let tranquility reign.  Nonviolent communication contributes towards making that possible.   Let it begin with me.

     Here's what I wrote in reaction to a sports column:
     It troubles me when we call someone a moron because we find something objectionable about them. It perpetuates the mentality that it’s okay degrading others if we find them wrong. Yes, Chris’s comments are insensitive and unacceptable. But, I find using put downs to define him equally unacceptable.
     I agree with Marshall Rosenberg:
“I believe all [negative] analyses of other human beings as tragic expressions of our values and needs. They are tragic because when we express them in this form, we increase the defensiveness and resistance to them among the very people whose behaviors concern us. Or, if they do agree to act in harmony with our values because they concur with our analysis of their wrongness, they will likely do so out of fear, guilt, or shame. 
“We all pay dearly when people respond to our values and needs, not out of a desire to give from the heart, but out of fear, guilt, or shame. Sooner or later, we will experience the consequences of diminished goodwill on the part of the those who comply with our values out of a sense of either external or internal coercion. They too, pay emotionally, for they are likely to feel resentment and decreased self-esteem when they respond to us out of fear, guilt, or shame.
“Furthermore, each time others associate us in their minds with any of these feelings, we decrease the likelihood of their responding compassionately to our needs and values in the future."  Rosenberg, Marshall: Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life, 2nd Edit., Encinitas, PuddleDancer 2005, p 16-17
        As always, please take what you like and leave the rest.
*** ** * ** *** ** * ** *** 
    Well, the columnist, Lowell Cohn, posted my reply---all of it---in the Press Democrat of  Santa Rosa.   Since then, I wrote him again, and he's been friendly.   I enjoy expressing my voice and being heard.  


Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

On this Saturday night, after an extremely rich and full day, and as I fight to stay awake, I am grateful I could...

1. Take this busy weekend, one moment, hour, responsibility, event and transition at a time.

2. Have brief but quality chats with our #3 and #4 sons each, with more to come.

3. Be moved and motivated by my wife's new slogan (texted in frustration to me yesterday), "Let Go & Let Carl!" She was tired of dealing with our 29 year old "qualifier," and needed me to step up. (Included in my Friday night Al-Anon meeting share.)

4. Experience God's unexpected and mystical intervention last night, getting our second oldest son into a quality sober living environment; group home in Oakland.

5. Hear a Niroga (Transforming Lives and Healing Communities) speaker this morning on "Dynamic Mindfulness for Social Tran
sformation," at our monthly Community of Faith breakfast.

6. Meet my mom's need for compassionate companionship, weekly grocery shopping and lunch service.

7. Grieve with her over the sad news our dear (nearly) lifelong friend and neighbor is dying at 91 of lung cancer. Never smoked, but has 1 more year of life in her...

8. Stand for Marriage and Family with my wife tonight at an annual (delicious) banquet, and dance to the live music with our youngest son playing bass with his seasoned band-mates.

9. Hear exactly what I needed to hear in our pastor's message tonight. That it is more essential to attain Holiness (God-centeredness)in your marriage relationship than simply seeking (fleeting) happiness for its own sake. That a married life rich in shared priorities such as faith, prayer, scripture and tradition (holiness) can insure long-term happiness.

10. Dance again tonight! That in spite of being quite rusty, and with little or no dancing talent or aptitude (Mastering ballroom dancing is on my Bucket List!), I can get in a descent rhythm or groove, if dancing to songs (James Taylor, The Beatles, etc.) I know and love.

Carl H said...

Dear Innkeeper,

I forgot to mention how grateful and proud I was of my wife's share at the Friday night Al-Anon meeting. She shared part of her "Chicken Story," with the moral (and I paraphrase...) that, "If we find compassion for others, God will give us the wisdom to find the answers; solutions to any problem." Many were moved and inspired by her share to share as well on that and other themes!

Quotes from the Posts

"I'm mindful that our thoughts affect the words we use, our words influence our actions, our actions shape our character and our character determines our destiny."

From "My Character Determines My Destiny." To read it, please click here.

"Progress not perfection, is better than no progress at all, especially when we're trying to rid ourselves from unwelcome dragons that dwell within the closets of our soul."

From, "Still Learning" which, within four days, became the most popular post
written. To read it, please click here.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its trouble, but it does empty today of its strength"
From the post: "Life Is Not a Correspondence Program." Click here to read it.

"Even though we cannot control our circumstances, we can control how we choose to respond to them."

From, "Handling Stress and Dealing With an Emotional Bully."Click here to read this post.

"Nope, being busy isn't exciting. Boring is good. Because boring is not boring; boring is being healthy, living a balanced life that has serenity"

From: "Do You Know What It Means If You Are Too Busy?" For more, please click here.