I came to Nonviolent Communication and social change via my work in schools. I knew they could be places that people wanted to go to every day- but it would take a shift at every level to do this.
Change seems so necessary because so much of our lives seem cut off from our natural ways of being and so much of what I have is dependent on others not having it including food, clothes and fuel. That change will need to be at a systemic level and I believe, BIG social change- a change in the way we behave and think and see each other.
Over many years of involvement in groups of people practising NVC I worry there are subtle messages that social change has to have a large audience to be social change- somehow I hear the words social change has got wrapped up in a definition that this has to be enormous- be making a difference on a global scale. I’m sure many people tell themselves- I’m not doing social change… because they don’t have a huge project they are involved in. one that the U.N. might have heard of!
Maybe we are stifling all our attempts to be of service to contribute to change because we immediately judge what we as doing as small and ‘not worth it’?
I would like us to see it differently. For example…If you are raising a child and have worked on yourself to undo your conditioning and are choosing not to use reward and punishment – you are involved in social change. If you greet the person who gets annoyed with you with kindness and care- you are involved in social change. We can all chose where we shop – this too is social change.
A social change project is a social change project regardless of its size and I can make my life a social change project if I want to. How I speak to myself my be my first act of social change- especially if this is reversing trauma and abuse patterns in a family. How about acts of social change rather than acts of random kindness? And let’s start with ourselves.
What small social change acts will you make today? how can you apply Nonviolent Communication and social change?