Reweaving connection...so much of life depends on our ability to accomplish this. Families built via adoption live this reality in a unique life-redefining way! We understand the effort and importance involved.
Whether a relationship breach exists between spouses (or significant others,) between/among friends or, among larger social groups like classrooms, offices, communities and countries, repair is an essential part of keeping relationships alive and healthy. Relationship repair takes work, requires accountability, cooperation and, commitment. It is challenging to admit we've messed up, fallen short or, failed. While not easy, it is worth it.
The many horrific weather events that have confronted the world recently, remind us that working together smooths the pathway to rebuilding damage. It is impossible to do it alone. We need every skill set. Every contribution is valuable. None of us can sit back and do nothing. Each of us can contribute something.
Sunday night in Las Vegas redefined ghastly. Evil.
When moral and social values completely collapse--as in the case of this massacre--we reel with shock, despair, anger and helplessness. However, we must not succumb to these emotions. Yes, they have their place and time. We must move beyond the outrage and DO SOMETHING. Channel the anger and frustration into productive directions.
Move beyond outrage. DO SOMETHING to create change. Channel the anger and frustration into productive directions. We all belong to the human family.
Contemporary society focuses too much on difference, division, and viewing other people as obstacles to our goals and happiness. While practical steps are essential, we must recast the conversation of negativity, disrespect, hate and "othering." We must upend this destructive paradigm and embrace a world view built on respect, cooperation, empathy and common purpose. We must resist petty distractions and focus on doing what is right instead of what is easy or comfortable.
How can we become part of the solutions? Sending donations and writing checks certainly helps, but we must do more. The adage "Think globally. Work locally." must guide us. Family is the most "local" place on which to focus our attention. Do an honest gut check about how well we are exemplifying and teaching our children our values. Then, expand our assessments into other layers of our lives: work/school, community, country, etc. Let us be brave enough to ask the hard questions and acknowledge the reality. This allows us to identify shortfalls or disappointments and then focus on creating the change we desire.
Here are a few questions to consider.
Do I practice the "Golden Rule?"
Do I speak and interact with respect?
Do I welcome and absorb feedback without arguing why it is wrong?
When I offer feedback, is it free of any hidden agenda or petty emotions?
Do I encourage and acknowledge the efforts of others without tacking on criticism?
Do I respect differing viewpoints?
Do I listen to understand without formulating a rebuttal?
When expressing my own viewpoints do I allow space for divergent positions?
Can I disagree without making it a personal attack on the other person?
Do I work to improve the inequities around me?
Do I feed conversations that inspire and encourage?
Do I disparage and complain, dismiss the struggles of others as their fault or not my concern?
Do I look beyond overt differences to see the common humanity of others?
Am I amplifying convesations that reinforce hate and anger?
Am I advancing conversations that build solutions instead of simply venting anger?