Street Giraffes is a Nonviolent Communication resource blog & free teleconference group that gathers monthly as a kind of NVC sangha (for mindfulness practice focused on skill-building, e.g. dialogue-lab experimentation w/ iGiraffe).
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Our Next NVC Sangha: November 10th @ 7 pm/ET
“Nonviolent Communication is an awareness discipline masquerading as a communication process.”
~ Kit Miller
You’re welcome to email me with any questions you may have whether as to the blog, telepractice-group, or if you have an interest in exploring NVC mediation (I also offer free @MediateOnesLife consults &/or referrals).
Experiment with Truth [Dispatch]
Sunday, July 5, 2018 ~
Forging Shared Reality
Kinyon: “In times spent with Marshall Rosenberg, I often heard him tell stories with an honesty that I found courageous.
This was not a surprise. Marshall has said that, in order to create a true connection, honesty is just as important as empathy.
He coined the term “scary honesty,” because of how terrifying it can be to tell people what is true inside of us.
Part of learning how to be honest with people is dealing with them “freaking out,” Marshall said. It helps to be ready for the fact that those who hear our truth may become angry, hurt, or upset. They may well react in ways that stimulate fear in us.
The crucial distinction, Marshall points out, is recognizing that we’re not afraid of other people or their reactions. Instead, we’re afraid of our own internal reactions to their reactions. In other words, it’s not the other person who is scary. It’s the thoughts and feelings that person can evoke in me that I fear…” (continues)
“If our connection depends on hiding my authentic self, the relationship is neither a true nor a sustainable connection.” ~ Miki Kashtan, The Little Book of Courageous Living
Beneath via @CupofEmpathy:
More on conflict resolution here
Historic “Scary Honesty” (exemplary of articulating Universal-Human-Needs)
“True dialogue can only happen if I enter the conversation willing to be changed by it. If I am unwilling to change, to be affected sufficiently to consider options new to me, on what grounds am I expecting the other person to change?” ~ Miki Kashtan
The arc of this masterful Frederick Douglass speech — delivered on this very day, July 5th in 1852 (especially if read in its entirety) — offers much fodder for thought on how a former slave turned public orator addressed the meaning that Independence Day held for him to a gathering of abolitionists (which included the then president of the United States)…
In other words, how Frederick Douglass opted to #MediateOnesLife. If you get a chance to read it (or listen to the arc of the speech, in clip directly above), please notice how he marshaled both empathy and (scary) honesty on behalf of forging a more just shared-reality.
I hadn’t considered the Nonviolent Communication [Mediation] intonations, intermingling empathy for another’s vantage point with the rawer honesty of one’s own, rather differing point of view until this fourth of July, when my niece and I watched the musical turned 1776 (film)…
In the film (clip above), John Adams — addressing state differences as to the slavery clause — says: “If we give in on this issue, posterity will never forgive us…”
Recognizing the poignancy that this debate and other slavery references in the film held for my niece, who is African-American, the next day — July 5th — it occurred to me to introduce her to the Frederick Douglass speech, which we read together (an articulation some 76 years after the Declaration, one might say, from posterity’s hindsight).
In a Fourth of July holiday special, we begin with the words of Frederick Douglass. Born into slavery around 1818, Douglass became a key leader of the abolitionist movement. On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, he gave one of his most famous speeches, “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.”
“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”
July 5, 1852
Mr. President, Friends and Fellow Citizens:
He who could address this audience without a quailing sensation, has stronger nerves than I have. I do not remember ever to have appeared as a speaker before any assembly more shrinkingly, nor with greater distrust of my ability, than I do this day. A feeling has crept over me, quite unfavorable to the exercise of my limited powers of speech. The task before me is one which requires much previous thought and study for its proper performance. I know that apologies of this sort are generally considered flat and unmeaning. I trust, however, that mine will not be so considered. Should I seem at ease, my appearance would much misrepresent me. The little experience I have had in addressing public meetings, in country schoolhouses, avails me nothing on the present occasion.
The papers and placards say, that I am to deliver a 4th [of] July oration. This certainly sounds large, and out of the common way… (continues)
Another Reading Of ‘What To A Slave Is The 4th Of July’ By Frederick Douglass: here
“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?“[a] is an untitled speech originally given by Frederick Douglass on July 5, 1852. He gave the speech, which is over 2,500 words long, to the Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Corinthian Hall in Rochester, New York, a city that was a center of abolitionist activities. The President of the United States and other important figures were also in attendance when Douglass gave the speech… (continues)
Parallels between now and then…
“We are bombarded by signals of distress — ecological destruction, social breakdown, and uncontrolled nuclear proliferation. Not surprisingly, we are feeling despair — a despair well merited by the machinery of mass death that we continue to create and serve. What is surprising is the extent to which we continue to hide this despair from ourselves and each other. If this is, as Arthur Koestler suggested, an age of anxiety, it is also an age in which we are adept at sweeping our anxieties under the rug. As a society we are caught between a sense of impending apocalypse and an inability to acknowledge it. Activists who try to arouse us the the fact that our survival is at stake decry public apathy. the cause of our apathy, however, is not mere indifference. It stems from a fear of confronting the despair that lurks subliminally beneath the tenor of life-as-usual. A dread of what is happening to our future stays on the fringes of awareness, too deep to name and too fearsome to face… (continues)” ~ Joanna Macy, World as Lover, World as Self; Parallax Press (2005)
See more here: @thecitizeness