Finding the higher heart

Do we try to solve the problem of these two people “at the table” without addressing the systemic and community settings? This is what led to my comment that you cannot fix a system because systems do not exist apart from the people who make them up. One writer suggests the answer is to partner with activists who address the systemic and cultural issues.

This however is not fully satisfying to me. You need to address people as persons, which does not necessarily imply one on one, but it does require that we get out of the mode of thinking of the system as being inhuman and having no face, no heart, no hands. The persons who make up the system or the culture have higher better dreams, and we must engage them through their dreams. I do not know how to do that, but I am one human searching and trying.

This implies that we can somehow find the higher heart in others. One step would be to stop seeing others as other. It will require that we actually meet others. So the more opportunities we can make for people to sit in a circle with diverse persons, the more progress we can make.

Another is that we get people talking. We ask them what they are about, who they are, what their dreams and aspirations are. I am just beginning to learn to do this. One thing that has worked for me is to ask people to tell me the story of their lives as a fairy tale. This certainly gives many hooks and entry points to try to find their dreams. I have not been deliberate in looking for their dreams—so it is here I must turn my attention.

Another is to search out people in conflict, for here is the edge of us. Getting people together across wider areas seems to me the middle ground—the common ground?—between activism and mediation.

That seems to be the common ground I am seeking. We share humanity and we share the places we meet. We should not seek to make everyone clones of each other. We should seek the craggy edges where we can pinch and poke each other. Here there be not demons but—we can hope—and work towards—a future for our grandchildren’s grandchildren.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on December 8th, 2007 | No Comments »

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