I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things after being away.Â So I’ll save the profundities (or what I like to imagine are profundities) and just pass on one lesson I learned while teaching this summer at the American Ethical Union Lay Leadership School: Practicing Non-Violent Communication is one of the hardest things on Earth.Â Making cold fusion work is a walk in the park compared to trying to re-wire yourself to do things such as (a) describe an action without making a judgement (e.g., “When you turned away silently” vs. “When you ignored me”) and (b) figure out and state specifically what you really want and need (e.g., “I need you to say, ‘I love you but I can’t talk about this now'” vs. “I need you to pay more attention to my needs”).
And that’s just a couple parts of it.Â There’s also describing your own feelings using actual adjectives (e.g., “I feel sad” vs. “I feel you are a big jerk”), making requests, etc.Â Clear, compassionate, honest communication.Â Terrifying to contemplate, isn’t it?Â I thought ethics was just about telling other people why they’re wrong. . . .