There are many programs available that deal with similar concepts around having the difficult, critical, crucial, fierce, non-violent conversations.
We in wealthy nations live in a post modern, pluralistic world, where the unwritten code is non judgement, non violence, happiness, and all things sugar and nice. I am not anti these things, I just know that all of these things come through wearing a monological lens.
I have known since I was very young that this world is not the way it is. There are times that we need judgment, we need sorrow, and we may also need violence. At core I believe in the good in people, and have been aware of my naiveté in this area at times.
However, after one incident where I was stalked for several weeks, and then three home invasions whilst my infant daughter and I slept, I decided it was time I learnt to defend myself. I took private classes in self defense. My wonderful instructor was passionate about supporting people in becoming able to take care of their physical safety. He insisted that I go beyond the hurting stage of infliction, and get into the maim and kill stage. Why? Because if I didn’t, I would never really ~get~ self defense. If someone attacks me with intent to do extreme violence, unless I am able to respond quickly and to the extent my opponent is seriously hurt, or worse, then I am not defending myself. In the process of crossing this threshold and looking into my own ability (or not) to inflict serious harm, or to kill, I had to look at the part of myself that can do this, or is afraid of doing this. I had to make friends with my shadow.
To the extent that we deny the shadow aspect in ourselves is the extent that we live a half life with fear as our ruler.
I know I am able to kill and I know I would if it was a life or death situation. Heavy words. Heavy topic. The paradox is that because I am no longer a victim around my own self defense, it is unlikely I will ever be attacked. I do not project weakness or fear of any form in this way. I have looked my shadow in the eye and integrated that part of me.
(Just to be very clear, I would use violence as the very last resort, and only in extreme situations.)
Gandhi was a great role model for modern society. One of the few. The question is- would his methods of non violence have worked in Nazi Germany?
Using the Integral model and exploring stages of development, the Amber ethnocentric stage of Nazi Germany’s development was not the same as the stage India under British rule was at when Gandhi practiced non violence. The British were at a more pluralistic Green stage, which afforded a very different response. Under the rule of tyrants of the level of Hitler, Mugabe et al, I am not so sure that Gandhi’s non violence would have been the best strategy. Idealistically, I would like to believe that he would have been able to turn the situation around through non violence, however, he would have been more likely to end up a statistic much earlier.
Dare to Care recognises that people are at many stages of development, neither right nor wrong, good or bad. That as a master communicator, we must adapt our communication to suit the stage we are communicating to. Even further, that we must adapt the way we are present in our thinking and being according to the stage we are speaking to. There is no one right way. There is only the way to speak and respond depending on the audience and the environment.
Judgement is not bad. I need to make judgements for my safety and survival. If a large man is showing malicious intent towards me I better make a very quick judgment about my situation. It is when I judge for the sake of my ego – for feeling better than or right that I could well do to examine my judgements.
Being nice is not always the best way to serve people. If you have someone who can’t sing to save themselves and you tell them they are OK at singing because you don’t want to hurt them, or knock them in any way, that is not being of service to them. That is colluding with them in denial. Yes, there are ways to tell them, some better than others, which is exactly what we teach in Dare to Care.
I need to care enough about you, to not care about what you think of me. That is a great act of service. And serving the other is exactly what Dare to Care is about.
It requires us to speak what is true, and to know the difference between truth and our ego. And to do so with exquisite care and compassion, willing to step into the domains of passion, sadness, anger, and even violence. If I am unable to say NO to someone, with complete alignment, and using the maximum force of my character, then I am going to remain a push over, indecisive, without back bone.
Learning to speak truth from an Integral frame is what Dare to Care is all about. As people begin to move from the post modern, pluralistic world, into the post post modern integral world, discovering along the way that at times violence, judgement, strong opinions, criticism and sorrow have their place, they will need to learn to speak with clarity, heart and an absence of ego, from that place, relevant to the audience and environment, and in the spirit of service. They will need to Dare to Care.
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