Internet notebook about my work: deep listening to facilitate positive change


Saturday 4 August 2007

Learning non-violence

More from my Hamburg notes on internal learning: non-violence. Affection and attachment basically are emotions that bring us closer to people, make us feel stable and safe. Anger pushes us back and isolates us from people; it makes us unstable and fearful. The seed of a warm heart and compassion is by nature in all of us. Through reasoning and common sense we can increase these positive emotions. If we extend the natural attachment we feel to our family to other people, to all sentient beings, even to our enemies, non-violence will naturally emerge. Non-violence should be judged not so much by its appearance (loud or harsh words, angry face, use of force), but by its motivation: a teacher may use harsh words out of compassion with the student; a politician may use a smile to cheat his opponent.

For reasons of survival, aggression is also part of our human nature. It is a temporary emotion, whereas affection and attachment are basic emotions that are there more permanently since the time we were born and have been dependent on the affection of others for survival. Violence may gain us temporary satisfaction, but in the long term it causes problems and regret. Based on our common experience we should realize that conflicts can be solved best within the framework of positive human feelings and basic values. Learning here means familiarizing ourselves with this type of ethics and practicing dialogue and non-violence in our own daily life. Once we have experienced that this approach will create more realistic solutions for happiness and peace of mind, we can introduce this concept to our leadership. On a larger scale it is the way out from 'old thinking' and the basis for positive change towards peace, justice and a healthy environment. Especially in a globalized world where we all are dependending on each other.

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