Welcome to the Post Traumatic Jungle
More insight from Elephant
4/2019 How can I work with others to create change?
There’s a lot of fear and a lot of anger. This is not a good origin for legislation or any good decision. People are preoccupied with winning arguments rather than creating solutions. Winning is about conquest. It’s a very different space than problem solving. Effective solutions can only come from a place of understanding, and hopefully empathy.
People who feel misunderstood can become laser focused on driving their point home. When this happens on both sides, no one is listening. Creating an environment of compassionate listening will lead to empathy. With empathy, we can see the person across from us as a fellow human being, a member of our community, a person with family and fears and concerns. Only then we can address those concerns from a loving place. Once the person across from you understands that they are being heard, it may free up them to listen and learn that you are not an enemy, but a person looking from a different perspective with a different set of circumstances. Real solutions can come from this place.
Nourish the best part of the person across from you and that part will grow. Empower the person across from you and that person will act from the place you just nourished. Love the person across from you and it will be easier to breathe through the discomfort of disagreement.
Many people are suffering with the misconception that if you win they lose, or that there simply isn’t “enough” for everyone. Don’t engage in a competition and people will stop trying to beat you. Be generous with your wealth and your perspective and maybe you can create safety. People can listen when they feel safe. People can learn when they feel safe enough to consider something new.
Trust is missing. Politics is a power game and people know this. Much like in the animal kingdom, the environment is rife with cunning and merciless players. We cannot pretend that this is not the case. These players are acting in the name of their own survival. They behave as though it’s a “jungle out there” because that has been their experience. It has become instinct. We must revisit the domestication of animals. Wild animals are not “bad” or “evil” – they are trying to eat and drink and protect their cubs and their packs. In order to domesticate them, you must first convince them that you are not there to hunt them or to hurt them. Animals are very loyal to those they consider friends. If they have safety and enough to eat, they can become quite content.
It is both the solution and the problem. Because on the other side, there are those who have become too domesticated, too trusting and complacent of a government that has grown into perhaps the wildest jungle of all. So it is the government we now need to tame and the citizens who need to have their natural instincts awakened.
You can do this, but you must do it gently. Both of these groups have been traumatized. Think of how abused animals behave. Some, in cages, become listless and resigned, but still try to bite you if you try to remove them from their prisons. Others, wounded in the wild, will attack with ferocity if you try to come to their aid. This is the fear you are confronting. Trust is the key. Create safety. Show love and compassion. Make your intention clear. Then maybe they will hear you.