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  • Wise folks say never talk about politics and religion because it will lead to misunderstandings and humiliation.

    I respect others rights to preach about their religious practices, their politics and how they choose to lead their lives.

    I believe I have the right to harmonise, creatively connecting to nature and spirit in my own personal way.

    Three years ago I lived in a community that chose to practice non violent communication according to Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

    As far as I am concerned NVC combines listening skills, counselling skills, transactional analysis and non-aggressive assertiveness.

    I felt the structure of Rosenberg's theory was indeed essential in a community where we found ourselves coming down to breakfast, after meditating, with an ever changing group of people from different cultures and countries.

    The problem was that some people felt righteous in the way they used the structure of non violent communication.

    "I practice non violent communication better than you do."

    "When I start communicating with you according to NVC this is how you should respond to me."

    were phrases I often heard,

    These statements showed, to me, that the theory had not been fully understood.

    The NVC structure did come in useful to me one evening when I was leading a cooking shift in the community kitchen.

    I had decided to cook a stir fry, accompanied by a complicated sauce.

    I asked a guy who was the overall kitchen manager to gently stir all the ingredients, mushrooms, peppers, bean sprouts, onions, garlic and ginger, gently in a large wok. Whilst I made the sauce.

    B became impatient with the process and decided he was going to throw all the vegetables in the huge dough mixer to save time; whilst laughing about his ingenuity.

    The result was a horrible brown mush; and of course, non of the eighty guests felt inclined to eat it.

    "I want to speak to you in my office!" he snapped at me after the meal.

    "No, I will ask a mediator to help us discuss the situation at lunch time tomorrow." I replied nervously.

    B marched away mumbling to himself.

    I found W after my shift and asked him if he would mediate according to NVC and he agreed to help me.

    The next morning the three of sat at a secluded table.

    "You served a meal that was totally un appealing to our guests", announced B. "It was a waste of money and the guests had to fill up with bread, so W has to order some more for breakfast tomorrow."

    "That is your opinion B" said W, "now it is your turn Diane."

    "I was making a complicated sauce, so I chose the most experienced person in the kitchen whose skills I admire, you B, to take charge of the stir fry."

    "Is that so?" said W.

    "Um yes," said B.

    "And I noticed that you decided to put it in the dough mixer." I said.

    "Yes," said B.

    "But it didn't work."

    "No" said B.

    "Sorry," said B.

    After lunch he approached me and asked, "why were you too afraid to come in to my office with me? I wouldn't harm you."

    "Well it felt like you would," I replied.

    (Image-last night's moon)
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