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Changing Our Language PDF Print E-mail

Let’s Change Our Language to "People who hold a different worldview than my own"

I have been having several conversations lately with coaches, friends, colleagues, and others who angry, confused, frustrated, lost with respect to the results of the November Election.

The Spiral Dynamics program at ICF sparked something in me with respect to how to deal with the election fallout. Basically it said that if we keep approaching the issue the same way that we have been we are not going to get anywhere. What is the definition of crazy? - doing the same thing over and over again expecting it to be different.

So what new paradigm do we need to adopt in order for us to stop, re-engage, learn, and move forward?

Upon my return to the U.S. I realized that the discussion was framed in mono-syllabic labels - RED vs. BLUE. I actually had people coming up to me and asking if I knew any RED people. This same discussion was going on in reverse by the way since I seem to float between both camps in my life.

Wait a minute~ You do not even see them as people. They are objects in your life that you need to convert to YOUR WAY OF THINKING. You do not see them as human beings with needs, wants, and desires in life just like yourself. Only as the enemy, the other, the democrats, the republicans, the reds or the blues. You prefer to dehumanize them in order for you not have to confront your own potential errors in thinking, because only people (people like us that is) have the right to do that. YIKES!!!!

What if we change our language!? What if we address the humanity of the situation? These people who we want to understand, we have to first acknowledge and see as people before we get anywhere.

Instead of saying RED or BLUE. What comes up for you when you say "People who hold a different worldview than my own?" YES, I know, 13 syllables, it is a mouthful, AND it is respectful of the person and acknowledges their right to hold and have a view different than my own. This does not say that one is better than the other. This does address that their can be another way of seeing things. This does acknowledge the gap and what the gap is between these two cultures. When you can identify the gap, you can start addressing what is going on - really!

What is the conversation you really want to have?

Overwhelmingly I hear people are confused and they want to understand. What about you?

~Matthew Rochte, MCA President Elect 2004

 
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