Give Peace a Year – Meeting eleven

Strained wire rope

Meeting number eleven

With the aim of peace, everywhere, starting here, now, transforming violence and conflict of needs  in life, one word, thought or deed at a time.

And because

it’s not the slog that will get us there, it’s the joy

for balance, things that warmed our hearts.

 

Starting where transformation is needed.

Examples from the group of peace lovers this week on Thursday 14th July

 

It was hard to know where to start this week, with so much going on politically, and with a sense of being on heightened alert for eruptions of verbal and physical violence, we were agreed on the need for safe places to vent and not suppress our own feelings and those of others, especially those with whom we disagree.

That it’s the ‘not being heard’, not having your needs heard, cared about or taken into account that has frayed people to snapping point and the subsequent eruptions of, sometimes unconscious, violent action.

 

1.Eruption of feelings in a public meeting

A woman, of mature years, appearing not to have prepared what she was going to say but standing, perhaps having reached snapping point, angrily blaming unspecified people and asking unspecified people ‘what are you going to do about it?’

What was possible during the meeting was to craft a minute for the record that transformed the judging and blaming into the feelings and needs that likely lay under the anger.

That concern had been expressed about x,y and z.

So as to show, formally, that she had been heard and the request for something to be done, for support and action would be noted and addressed.

On reflection, it’s likely that the safety of the meeting allowed her to express something that would not have been aired one to one.

It’s also possible that she acted as a safety valve for everyone, expressing what others wouldn’t but which could fester on causing unseen further damage possibly only to erupt later in some more dangerous manner.

 

Heartwarming

A cheering example of a safe place (and way) to vent was found, surprisingly, at a local party political meeting.

When it seemed that the meeting was unlikely to settle to the previously agreed agenda without discussing that days events and with feelings running high, the chairperson acknowledged that people did want to talk about it, and allowed time for it.

Twenty minutes, one person at a time, all addressed through the chair and not arguing with one another’s points but just hearing them.

Everyone had a chance to speak and be heard, and that was sufficient to return to and complete the points on the agenda.

Also cheering, was both the age range, from 17 to 87 actively engaged in the meeting and the range of and members who joined just 2 weeks ago up to a lifetime’s membership.

More Heartwarming

After looking for a way we personally might be able to respond if encountering racist hate crime, finding an article with a really practical and do-able response.

To go and calmly stand by the person being abused, and just be present with them, making it clear that you’re standing with them.

If possible, and it feels right, to talk about ordinary things, like the weather, their journey, your journey.

 

2.Vocally critical situation

Looking for how to be in such a tense situation, so as not to absorb the tension and become extra stressed.

Feeling re-assured by having an idea of a do-able response if encountering racist hate crime (in heartwarming point above) it was good to find it could also work in an ordinary meeting where there was criticism being levelled at someone.  Just going and standing by them showing support in that way also helped me stay calm, certainly calmer than I would previously have been in those circumstances. 

 

Next in person meeting

Thursday 28th July, 7.30 – 9pm

The Salisbury Arms Hotel, Hertford

Dates for the rest of the year here
Guidelines for the group here

Email to let me know if you’re coming and we’ll keep you a seat.

 

 

 

 

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