We are not well positioned to tell anyone what change is being born.
We are not well positioned to name all the ills.
So maybe we can suggest how it’s a time that would seem opportune and reasonable to question everything.
Every single thing.
For those of us who freak out when the co-op sells out of our bread, questioning down to the foundations can be tricky and scary.
So let’s first center and ground ourselves on what we might all have in common: our needs.
Do you feel a strong need to:
- Have shelter?
- Have nourishment?
- Be safe where you live?
- Be with your loved ones (human, fur, plant-based, etc.) ?
This and possibly more can be our foundation if we need one. This doesn’t have to change.
Considering what our true needs are might help us feel connected to ourself and might increase our connectedness to other humans, who likely share these needs
Once we know our needs, we can look at almost everything else that exists in the world—societies, institutions, conflict—and see how it is created by people
People gather to create communities, cities, states, countries, alliances, etc. The societies aren’t inherently there; they arise consciously or unconsciously.
Rules are made by humans (unless you think they are made by religious Creator(s) originally; after that, though, people make their legal codes, invent tax laws, etc.). And people enforce their rules.
How? Through punishment and reward. Always are our societies and institutions judging the rightness and the wrongness, the goodness and the badness of other people, selves, individual events, items we eat, etc.
These judgments are at the root of societies and institutions.
They have been with us so long as humans—like, 8,000 years—that we do not even question their existence.
Can we exist outside right and wrong?
We can if we see that the judges—teachers, our bosses, their bosses, actual judges, “critics,” politicians, neighbors, us, everyone—get to decide right and wrong. How can everyone think they know the right way to think, vote, worship, teach, work?
Is there really a “right” way?
T-3 says there is no line in the sky separating East from West. These are human-made boundaries. “Right” is a matter of which side of the tracks you were born on, raised on, educated on, socialized on.
Whom do these divisions serve?
Enemy images are created by people. We just named some common needs that likely everyone shares and would agree with. Enemies are people with the same needs that we have, but they—and probably we—are inexperienced at expressing needs and allowing others to also meet their needs.
And if we are born into a family, school, society that values/devalues, rewards/punishes certain skin colors, genders, identities, sexual attractions and intimacies, how can we even know that this system exists?
Because we all have the same needs.
Why dies some people‘s safety get rewarded, promoted, while other’s safety does not? Why do some people get access to nourishment and others do not?
Whose interests are served?
Even if these rewards and punishments are not intentional does not mean they do not exist.
Many, many people believe in things that are hard to see and prove.
Everyone needs to breathe.
How can we all be sheltered, be safe, be nourished, be with our loved ones? How can we make this a priority?
Can we put down the idea that we are right or wrong—just ignore the whole concept—and just focus on how to meet these needs for everyone?
For us, that would define connection, compassion, Love.
We think it’s acceptable to question anything and everything we have to in order to get to meeting all our needs.
This is our explanation of Nonviolent Communication.