An open space for global conversation
A friend sent me this article about polling numbers that indicate OWS is losing favor with US citizens. I feel really disappointed to see this because I believe, from conversations I've had with my family and friends, and from what I've heard from people on our daily nonviolent communication strategies training call, that most people have no idea what the occupy is really about. It is difficult to understand, but I have heard this from more people than I wish I had.
I think this is what is contributing to their loss of support, along with the mainstream media not covering the occupy movement, or covering it only scantily or when something sensational happens. This is why I believe we need to start making positive statements about why we're involved with occypy.
By positive I mean, rather than saying what we don't want, we say what we do want. We are more likely to be seen as human beings who are trying to meet our needs for shelter, a job, affording an education for our children if we make clear statements about what we do want. This way we can more likely build a connection with those who also want to remain employed, want to make sure they are not going to lose their home, or want to belive that they will be able to send their children to an effective school.
Making statements such as "I'm here because I haven't been able to find a job. I want one, but I can't find one." "I'm here because, the deregulation laws that our government is passing, are creating situations like the one in which I lost my house." "I'm here because, with the ways laws are being rapidly passed, I'm afraid my children won't get a descent education, and education is so important in a democracy. You can't have a democracy without educated citizens."
When people can connect at a common needs level, they are more inspired to help each other. When we tell people that they are wrong, they are often inspired to walk away.
Occupy Wall Street Favor Fading
The Occupy Wall Street movement is
not wearing well with voters across the country. Only 33% now say that they are
supportive of its goals, compared to 45% who say they oppose them. That
represents an 11 point shift in the wrong direction for the movement's support
compared to a month ago when 35% of voters said they supported it and 36% were
opposed. Most notably independents have gone from supporting Occupy Wall
Street's goals 39/34, to opposing them 34/42.
Voters don't care for the Tea Party
either, with 42% saying they support its goals to 45% opposed. But asked
whether they have a higher opinion of the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street
movement the Tea Party wins out 43-37, representing a flip from last month when
Occupy Wall Street won out 40-37 on that question. Again the movement with
independents is notable- from preferring Occupy Wall Street 43-34, to siding
with the Tea Party 44-40.
David ( or are greetings included in your review..here I use greetings only to be sure my post will connect up with the post to which is ts responding..I like your practice of cutting and pastin the actual phrase to which your are responding..happy though to honor what seves the conversation best and is most inclusive)
I am not trained in facilitation but I find the process of facilitated discussions almost miraculous. I am not trained in NCV as Suzanne is and want to be because I saw it at work here . I can see what a valuable personal skill that is.
Speaking from my own experience, I can attest that ageement on practice ( which is in part what facilitated discussion is..people agree to speak according to certain practices.eg not interrupting, trying to listen deeply as each person speak, speaking only where there is something of value to add, not using negative characterizing of anothers comments (e.f. "that's silly, thats shallow,)when we don;t agree with or understand those comments; and never negatively characterizing .another speaker 'You're a liar, You are lying etc.)
What happens out of these kinds of practices is magical..Tom Atlee has written many wonderful essays on this as have countless others. Many of these practices go back to ancient tribal traditions recognized and practiced by tribes all over the world..out of something like a common wisdom.
My own experience is that in such practices both speaker and listener are enriched and that the power of community arises giving every participant access to something, that might not oterwise have been possible.
In other words, I think I am speaking for more than just agreeing not to knock each other around, or than just agreeing to not characterize others ideas in a diminishing or negative way. Ithink I am pointing to how important the agreed process is to allowing us all to get to heart of the common ground on which we stand not in unity, not in agreement . not in sameness, but in the richness and texture of our diversity. These practices are a way of harvesting the possibilities that exists for each of us when we speak and listen in diverse communities in a way that is beyond ego and the egoic expressions.
Hi David and Lindsay,
I'm replying to you both here because I'm new at forums and haven't quite figured out where and how to reply in all cases.
I agree David, that using people's names isn't the best idea and I am willing to refrain from using anyone's name in the future unless speaking directly to them.
I like what you say Linsday about the value of going beyhond not calling people names to actually employing nonviolent communication strategies in our daily lives. In my experience, using language that speaks my feelings and needs rather than evaluates, criticises, or labels another person tends to create an entirely different kind of communication - much more likely to keep people in dialog and feeling heard, respected, and appreciated. BTW, there is an extensive website around the Nonviolent Communication approach at www.cnvc.org - The Center for Nonviolent Communication.
For others who may be reading this post and have not seen the previous post regarding our daily call, the call-in number for our daily nonviolent communication strategies call is 312-304-9152 - 4:00 PM EST daily.
Thanks for this Lindsay!
I have been offl ine for a few days over Thanksgiving. I appreciate your reflections on this situation, and I like what I read as your vision for Occupy Cafe - conversations that launch a vibrant and transformative community...creating initiatives and collaborations that we can bring into the world.
I agree that a forum like this is difficult. As mentioned earlier, I find it interesting that emoticons were developed. It seems that lack of nonverbal feedback was a problem for a lot of people.
I recently obtained my master's degree in communication. The field of communication is expanding rapidly and has become quite interesitng. While studying non-verbal communication, I read that we take in only 7% of what people say, while 93% of what we take in is nonverbal. And, if there is a descrepancy between what a person says and their nonverbals, people tend to believe the nonverbals. If this is true, it puts us all at a bit of disadvantage on these forums.
But, I also know of a reserach study that claims that teachers who were teaching students on line developed a deeper level of trust with their students and developed trust more quickly when they used Nonviolent Communication guidelines.
I agree with what you say that we are in the beginning stages of understanding the strengths and weaknesses of on line communication. In fact, a whole new paradigm has developed over the last few years in the field of communication studies around mediated communication.
So, here's to moving forward, in many many ways.
I will be off line again for several days while focusing on getting the word out about our nonviolent communicaton strategies phone support line.