Tuesday, March 21, 2006

peace place

peace place PEACE TODAY. Peace Here. Peace NOW.

And a friend asks me today, so... what did you say? What did you do?

I must smile. I had to go back to see what I said that was leaving the mystery! Thanks for the feedback. I gave the flavor and the wherefores but left out the specifics. Typical for a motivational speaker!

But, not as helpful as direct communication. Lest I be perceived as the latest politico with a peace feather to wave in the wind... here are specifics. Remember this was a conversation among friends and family. Not always a safe place to speak words of peace.

Precisely? The easiest approach has always been to redirect. Deflect with humor and change the focus of the conversation. Like an oppossum... "play dead"... and the enemy/predator goes away and I live another day.

But I gave up my 'possum days a long time ago. Though often I choose silence or absence as my passive approach. (Note the use of the word "passive" instead of "non-violent".)

On the topic of the gunpoint robbery in the local parking lot I heard one woman say THAT is why I do not go anywhere without my husband anymore. AND I felt a surge of "Omigod where is this taking us next??" I resisted the antagonistic response of our childhood days... Well La te DAH what about all the rest of us without husbands or little old ladies?

Instead, I accepted a moderate redirect approach. Acknowledged how terrified the victim was and how dreadful it is that such a crime can happen in our backyard. Yet, are we not fortunate that it has taken this many decades for this kind of fear to strike our town? In the cities where we grew up it was commonplace. We learned to cope. We walked with purpose, parked by the lights, planned our trips and did not ever enter a parking lot with anything less than full attention to our surroundings.

A room with some nods now and less fuming.

Yes, even as we once were living in the wilds in primitive days we needed to pay attention to our surroundings in order to survive. Not everything was going to be easy for us in a world with an increasing predator population. Not then, Not now.

So, I drew an analogy with the dangers of the primitive world to bring some perspective to the very real dangers of our out-of-touch world.

Sending out a call to PAY ATTENTION. Be Mindful.

Peace is possible one moment at a time.

It does help to have a strong sense of confidence and have your mind already made up about what kinds of responses you will allow yourself. I find it extraordinary how many threatening ==yes-- even life threatening -- experiences I have encountered and survived with a variety of humane responses, sometimes playing to the crowd or the ego, sometimes showing bravado, sometimes it felt like I was dancing on the head of a pin. Sometimes there was fear, sometimes not. Hard to explain. Maybe another day.

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