After tearing down a contemplative installation that was Inside’s contribution in a shared event, I ran in to view the remaining presentations. I viewed a role-play on a topic that I loved and seeing the participants respond was fun. So it was with dismay and a difference in opinion when I heard the next presenters come up and compare their presentation to the one before it! I ask myself, why? Are you in the habit of comparing yourself to others? Is so, is there always a winner and a loser?
The first sentence I heard in the presentation expressed was, ” ..(blank) …..used the old school method while I am using the new method of presenting with audio visual and a bullet form presentation to follow along! She did not open with an indicator to us that this was only her belief and that she wasn’t speaking for us all. She stated it like it the truth, which to me, meant she knew more than anyone else in the audience without realizing she was comparing two totally different teaching methods that cannot be compared in this way. Hers was exclusive of audience participation and the style was speaking at us with words on a screen while the other method included the audiences participation and the learning was experiential. It was presented though an exercise therefore included more than the senses of seeing and hearing.
In this one sentence she compared herself to the presenter before in a way that told us she was more effective. One was old and one was new. This may have not been her intent, yet I believe it demonstrates her lack of wisdom while commanding a hierarchical status quo. I believe her intent was to apologize for using this form of audio visual and rather than explaining what need of hers she was not meeting, she chose to make it about the person before her.
This is a perfect demonstration of a non-physical form of violence that begins inside as comparison and is expressed in a language of violence. The root source that results in the need for restorative justice. It is my perspective that there is no comparison between the sharing styles or techniques. One is a speaking systems designed for behavior awareness that reduces the need for the restorative action to meet ones need for justice.
My discomfort continued to grow with the use of labels such a perpetrators, victims, and so on and I found my mind wandering back to a belief that is expanding. It is based upon being courageous and having the willingness to speak with honesty and with acceptance together with *understanding there are differences in opinions. This belief is a growing understanding that our habits are lazy. It is easier for us to protect ourselves from feeling the discomfort that comes when speaking our truth and sharing a common value. Our immediate choice is to stay in a mental dominated state of analyzing, labeling and talking at issues with a language of solutions. We are choosing not to take the extra effort to *process them by checking in first to identify a personal value connection first before going to solutions. The process we are ignoring becomes the effort and life draining experience and the need behind restorative justice.
*Understanding differences in opinions: This is knowing that your opinion is not what others believe to be true. It is a skill to be able to hear others and know that this does not mean you have to agree or disagree with them.