Saturday, December 31, 2016

Perceptions and choice

If you ever get into a discussion about society and the individual, there will be a point where the finger of blame/responsibility is directed at the magical THEY. Every time I am in such discussions the wisdom of an old friend screams in my ear the phrase – no government acts without the will of the people. Now, since I have had this discussion many times there are always the same points made about Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Genghis Khan and other horrifying situations. However, the reality is that these people ruled by fear which most people capitulated to. Such situations drive right to the heart of an earlier article I wrote about defending another with everything you have, even your life. The situation the world or even your community, town, city or family is experiencing is due to how you have allowed it progress. Basically when you complain about how governments treat the people it is only that way because we have allowed that to take place. As that reality settles in, it is imperative to understand that it has taken years to get to where we are. Conversely, it will take some time and effort to move society. This is no easy task nor is it simple. First off, the work always begins within the individuals mind, heart and soul. Taking great care of how you are is very important. There will be those moments where sitting on the couch to watch movies or reading a book or cleaning the house or playing piano or physical exercising or praying will all collide and you must choose which to do. This really does point to what your dreams are and truly working towards them. Life being what it is there will be people such as mentioned above who share similar dreams. This is the great struggle of good versus evil. Taking all of that into consideration, we tend to judge others because we feel that no one else is holding up their end of responsibility. We complain, point out all the corruption, blame the other, or feel there is no use and give in. What is very interesting in these comments each of us make is that a great many of them are actually your own mind telling yourself where you want to make changes. It is your self analysis being projected upon the world. Within the self awareness and social awareness dichotomy, manifests the compounding weight of one person making a difference in the world. Such a massive amount of work can be overwhelming. However, the reality is that all anyone can really work on is the self. This is how a group of people bond together to the point where each will die to defend another. Each person has come to the point where they know that life is worth defending. That person knows that the love and care they have for themselves will be far greater when they give all of that to another. Look within your own mind and equate it to how you feel about the world around you. As you do this, understand that life is about experiencing and understanding all that is. All of life is then balanced by the knowledge that there is no light without dark and both are there to support the other. We must embrace all that is. When we do this there is no more THEY We will understand that we are both the problems and solutions everyone encounters. and governments will no longer be some phantom of oppressive power. We will seek methods to build upon success and ways to let go of the mistakes, to hold no grudges, to seek the utopia each of us dreams of and support others when they ask for help when they face struggles. There are many that do not have such a view and that has to be okay with those who do. For those that do not have such a view, to them it appears that government can act without the will of the people.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Relationship and Peacebuilding

Throughout my career of being an adviser for conflict management, I have always had a strong focus on the need for rebuilding individual communities that make up a country. In truth the focus has been on the individual, yet wisdom is very accurate in that it is easier to lead the masses than to lead a single person. Of late, there has been a great deal of research articles being published on this area of peacebuilding. From what I can gather from the readings is that there is a change of words/ideas taking place. The change is viewing peacebuilding as relationship building. Usually I do not pay attention to what I would see as semantics. However I let this one roll around my brain for a while. Building relationships and peace have a great deal in common. More to the point, you have to understand the relationships between as many participants as possible in order to build peace. This understanding can be very complex as we deal with organizations that are very large. To make a point here, just think of how you view your relationship with government or any corporation. Now, project that unto the field of the community you live in. What is similar, what is different? One question that is always present in peacebuilding is where to start the process. It seems logical to start with the groups who are fighting. What happens when you find out the neither side is willing to talk or even stop fighting? If that is the case how are you ever going to focus on communities when you can not reach them? Think of a family where the two parents are really having a major break down and the children are being used as vehicles to spread hate and revenge. How does anyone stop that insane situation? Everyone can understand this scenario even in a relatively peaceful place. This scenario is very similar to what is taking place in Syria. Commonalities of relationship and peacebuilding is the need to prevent further harm. The ultimate reason for intervening in wars is to save people and future generations from the savagery of war. Although we know why we do it, how to best accomplish peace and build relationships is being argued right now in Syria and with the family that is breaking up. From the grand scale of Syria to the individual scale of the family, the tactics to bring peace are the same as are the challenges. Some people do not even want to get involved and that has to be recognized as a factor in building relationships and peace. It is always interesting to implement the theories being discussed. Seeing as we have not built the perfectly peaceful environment yet, we have a few more experiments to test out. I wish everyone the best success possible in their experiments to find peace.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Who is making these desicions?

We live is a world of dual leadership - or so it seems. There are government rules, work rules, family rules and then there are your own set of rules. There are also moral guides, legal guides and then there are the there is no other way guides. Taking all of that into consideration and understanding that life has been that way for thousands of years can fry a few wires in the brain. Such understandings get right to the heart of the "who am I, what am I spirituality questions. What is the overarching guiding principle that governs you? How did that guiding element get into your being? Each of these questions speak to a social construct that you have been apart of. In simple terms it can be your culture, your identity and/or your philosophy of life. It all comes down to why and how choices are made. The construction of any mind (and largely a society) will soon come to the point of building educational facilities. These facilities take on many forms. What does not change is the element of building these facilities so that a certain understanding of civility, peace, structure and knowledge is to be passed along. Another similarity all over the world is that parents are responsible for raising, teaching and supporting the children they bring into the world. Further to that, there is a common saying stating a community is to also take a certain amount of responsibility to raise the children in their community. Now for the complications. Where are the lines drawn for the sharing of the responsibilities? At this very moment those lines have been completely wiped out to the point where there is no clear understanding. This understanding is a major part of everyone mismanaging civil society. In global realities it is why we have groups such as Daesh (ISIS). In a more local setting it is how we get children graduating who can not read or write. This is how we get leaders telling us it is not safe to send children to school. This is how we get children not even graduating. This is how we get to the point where schools are more like jails with lock down doors, police in hallways, cameras and everyone scared of some harmful possibility. At this point the most often comment made is that the world has changed. Well that is true to a very fine margin. The reality is that the essence of life will remain the same forever. The materials we surround ourselves with will change but that is all. How we treat each other, how we teach children to walk, talk, read, write, behave and grow will always be the same. The thoughts of a parent 1000 years ago are the exact same as they are today. They want their children to have the best life possible and full of opportunities. As we have worked to build that best possible life we have made the world a great deal safer today than it was 100 years ago. However, we also built an illusion of complexity to such a point where we are feeling insecure in our own communities. This speaks the the very point of that we have no clear understanding of societal responsibilities. This understanding is a major part of everyone mismanaging civil society and it is putting everyone in grave danger. We have over protected ourselves to the point where a simple answer is only possible if it is prefaced with a disclaimer and a ten page legal document – in small print. Risk is part of life. Without risk we would never expand our knowledge. There is a point where we have to stop making new policies, laws, improvements and see what each of these have done to the entire society. The world needs a break from itself. We all need a play day to let of some steam, to recharge, to get back to a path that actually makes sense or to just get everyone on the same path. It seems as though we are all going madly off in all directions. It seems there is no clarity, understanding or even a common idea that everyone can agree upon anymore. As in every article I write I am again making note of the responsibilities of the individual to be a peaceful person. That is the top priority in this world as it always has been and always will be. When we build facilities to educate society the main concern should always be the peaceful mind of ourselves and each other.