The class today was very interesting. It was Manoj all the way and there was no group activity. It started with value card no.6 – on Seven Ways to Peace and Happiness.
I should take the value card seriously. It can help deepen my values and help me choose consciously actions that cement those values within me.
The core of the class was about heart to heart communication. Deep within us, there is so much of violence which we self-inflict on ourselves and the people around us. Example of Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi who filled up two walls full of the violence he felt within himself and hardly anything of the violence inflicted by society, explains convincingly that there is so much of violence in us.
Examples of various rulers who unleashed violence on helpless people killing millions demonstrated that violence can be institutionalized by the connivance of willing accomplices who numb the feelings of their true selves. Pol Pot in Cambodia, Genghis Khan, Hitler and several others could unleash their violence because of the mindless acceptance and co-operation of their followers. Such kings and leaders and even religious leaders had vested interest in keeping people enslaved in meek surrender.
The fact of the matter is that no one can be forced to abdicate their conscience when confronted with a difficult situation. Everyone has the freedom to choose an appropriate or inappropriate response.
We are not born violent. We imbibe this from the environment, parents, schools and society in general.
Compassion therefore becomes a casualty when people interact with one another. There is so much of violence in our homes and everywhere we go.
There is a way to get out of the vicious cycle of violence we unleash on others – even on our very dear ones. Transformation can happen by understanding that when people react all they are saying is either PLEASE or THANK YOU. All that a nagging wife actually want to communicate to her husband is – I need you and I need your attention.
We do not hear the real messages communicated most of the time. Instead, they are drowned in noisy fights and violent arguments. Violence only begets more violence.
We live in a world of judgments by moral standards, analysis, comparisons, criticisms and diagnosis. When we judge, people tend to become defensive – out of which springs different forms of retaliatory violence.
The way we speak or our languaging also contribute to violence. The two types of languages are process oriented language and static language.
Static language portrays people as static beings, without the capacity for change. Statements such as the following brands people in images or molds.
“She is lazy.”
“The problem with you is that you are too selfish.”
The process oriented language is one of understanding from the heart.