When in the Course of human events a person longs to strengthen the bonds that connect them with other people and magnify the quality of their communications, a decent respect to the opinions of humankind requires that they should consider the appropriate means to fortify those connections…
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that all people are endowed with free choice, that they are free to make the choice made by ancestors and antecedents since time immemorial: To be in relationship with others to further their Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That all people have inherent value independent of the behaviors they exhibit. That our nature is one of compassion such that our relationships with others constitute enriching exchanges of energy leading to growth and well-being. That all people are connected to all others at the level of Universal Human Needs. That a deep awareness of and a facility with Needs allow care for oneself, for others, and for the larger community to which they belong. That many of these Needs including Contribution, Caring, Connection, Partnership, Love, are met by being in relationship with others. And that only by understanding and honoring each other’s needs can we create a world where people have the opportunity to have their needs are met.
The history of the national and globalized culture is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny blinding us to the natural compassion in our hearts and the oneness of all life. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
- The content of media in our culture and, especially, advertising, subjects us to repeated messages that we are not enough and that, to be whole or successful, we must purchase a product or work to achieve a higher station in life regardless of systemic obstacles.
- The school system tends toward valuing and promoting obedience over independent thinking and creativity, valuing and promoting “good behavior” over the full embodiment and expression of one’s inner fire, valuing and promoting competition and the grading process over cooperation and learning, valuing and promoting hard skills such as math and science, over essential soft skills like art, music, self-awareness, self-care, empathy, relationship- and community-building, and valuing and promoting extrinsic motivation while suppressing natural, intrinsic motivation.
- The justice system explicitly values punishment over restoration and rehabilitation. The State takes the role of victim rather than enabling those who are victims of crime to restore relationships with those who offended against them. The system treats those who offend in ways that encourage them to feel victimized as well and resistant to taking responsibility for their actions. The system has little regard for the emotional needs of both those who are victims and those who offend.
- The neoliberal philosophy underlying our current economic and social systems values and promotes the accumulation of wealth by the few over the pursuit of Happiness and the well-being of the many. It supports and promotes a system of domination where those on top get their needs met often at the expense of those on the bottom.
- The language we use values and promotes the use of static labels that divide us rather than in-the-moment statements of needs that foster connection.
In order to regain our birthright of compassionate living, a new paradigm is needed. In order to fully value our internal and external beauty, fully appreciate the gift of being alive, and fully become who we are, new tools are necessary.
One of these tools is Compassionate (Nonviolent ) Communication.
By allowing us to nurture ourselves by acknowledging and honoring our emotional state at any moment (no matter our behavior) through the skill of Self-Empathy, by supporting our desire to extend this acknowledgement and honor to the emotional state of others (no matter their behavior) through the skill of Empathy, and by bolstering our ability to express ourselves clearly and authentically through the skill of Honesty, the process helps us create a new world. This process stimulates personal and collective growth by helping us “unlearn” the patterns we adopt from the systems and culture we inhabit then encouraging our return to our natural state of compassion and love. This process allows us to nourish and sustain the interconnections that enrich our lives.