“After what happened last election I was mad at myself for being complacent. Now it’s hard to watch the news – I get mad at everyone else.”
This seems to be a common admission among many of my friends and colleagues. And so many of them right now are choosing to steer clear of the news and politics. Others are limiting their news to keep the negative emotions and anxiety in check. I personally find what most pushes my buttons is when someone predicts our current leader will get re-elected for four more years; I frequently retort, “Don’t steal my hope!”
So what to do as our next election approaches: Wear t-shirts with our candidate and boldly pronounce that we want to share with anyone who will listen why they should vote for this person? Keep politics out of conversations with family and coworkers? Unfriend Facebook friends who post views that disappoint and anger us?
Maybe…but what if we could learn to have peaceful and respectful conversations with those with whom we disagree? There is a technique called CLARA that was developed to do just that. CLARA as defined by the Pace Bene Organization as an acronym meaning Center, Learn, Articulate, Receive, Accomplish; they describe it as “a process for nonviolent transformation in our lives and our world”. CLARA is part of the Peace and Nonviolence Committee’s upcoming “Blessed are the Peacemakers” workshop October 27th. I look forward to this opportunity and hope you too will consider attending.