Tip #310: Nonviolent Communication #1

“Unless, as grandfather would say, ‘we become the change we wish to see in the world,’ no change will ever take place…Changing ourselves begins with changing our language and methods of communication.” Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, co-founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence

I recently saw a wonderful poster in several classrooms at West High School in Madison, Wisconsin. Its message aptly bridges our prior discussion of lifelong learning with our look at the concept of nonviolent communication. The following is adapted from a poem by Nancy R. Smith:

“For every girl who is tired of acting weak when she is strong, there is a boy tired of appearing strong when he feels vulnerable.

For every boy who is burdened with the constant expectation of knowing everything, there is a girl tired of people not trusting her intelligence.

For every girl who is tired of being called over-sensitive, there is a boy who fears to be gentle, to weep.

For every boy for whom competition is the only way to prove his masculinity, there is a girl who is called unfeminine when she competes.

For every girl who throws out her E-Z bake oven, there is a boy who wishes to find one.

For every boy struggling not to let advertising dictate his desires, there is a girl facing the ad industry’s attacks on her self-esteem.

For every girl who takes a step toward her liberation, there is a boy who finds the way to freedom a little easier.”

What a moving observation of the negative impact of the messages communicated to our children.

If there are young children in your life and you would like a copy of this poster, the one I have is titled: CrimethInc. Gender Subversion Kit #69-B and is available at http://www.crimethInc.com

Next week, we will begin a discussion of nonviolent communication by considering how Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg defines it.

May your learning be sweet.

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