Constructive Conversation With “The Enemy”

A beautiful post script to my RADICALLY vulnerable and honest article about politics and using it for personal growth…

Stumbling around online, using my new Google Reader account to streamline the online information I want to read, perusing one of my newest additions to my list of “quality reading”, Pam Slim’s blog “Escape From Cubicle Nation” latest post. It lead me to (added just now to my Google Reader “extra-super-worth-it” reading list) to a post called “Mahatma Gandhi’s 5 Teachings To Bring About World Peace.” Of course this piqued my interest! Here’s just a portion…

Teaching # 1: Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent then the one derived from fear of punishment. — Mahatma Gandhi

The force of power never wins against the power of love. At this hour of greatest unrest and turmoil in our world, the greatest force to be reckoned with lies within our hearts — a force of love and tolerance for all. Throughout his life, Mahatma Gandhi fought against the power of force during the heyday of British rein over the world. He transformed the minds of millions, including my father, to fight against injustice with peaceful means and non-violence. His message was as transparent to his enemy as it was to his followers. He believed that, if we fight for the cause of humanity and greater justice, it should include even those who do not conform to our cause. History attests to his power as he proved that we can bring about world peace by seeking and pursuing truth for the benefit of Mankind. We can resolve the greatest of our differences if we dare to have a constructive conversation with our enemy.

Keeping My Eye On The Ball (of Love?)

Sounds sort of flower-power and all that, and yet it is true. Come November, there will be 50% who are totally excited, renewed and hopeful and then there will be another 50% of us who feel unheard, misunderstood, and helpless. Think about this as you walk down the street and look into the eyes of your neighbor. One out of every two Americans today is basically in values gridlock. So what!? We disagree! Now what?!

How Are We Willing To Show Up To One Another, Especially When We Disagree?
It is a choice. There are so many possible “rights” and each and every one of those “rights” is someone’s personal truth that we cannot take away from each them. Not until you’ve walked in their shoes as the adage goes. The Dems vs GOP… this conversation about who is right and who is wrong is a never ending distraction. If we weren’t arguing and working so hard to make the other guys look wrong, what would we be doing? To answer this question means moving out of the school playground and into living more accountably and responsibly at an individual level.

What It’s Looking Like For Me

  • I am willing to have a conversation.
  • I am willing to be open to all positions.
  • I am willing to focus on solutions.
  • I am willing to disagree peacefully. Ah yes, that feels nice.

Here’s my secret prayer to all my neighbors now and in November: I am willing to be a new kind of American!

How’s that for conversation starters?


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