Discussion of how we might better foster peace and mutual regard

within our Meeting.

April 19, 2009

 

We started with two Queries:

How can we express and discuss a difference of opinion in a way that will be constructive for all concerned?

How might we speak candidly with each other without causing hurt or resentment?

We also had some material from Nonviolent Communication Skills that suggested:

1. Differentiating observation from evaluation

2. Differentiating feeling from thinking

 

Sharing by those present concerning these queries included the following:

Contact with others is important

Open sharing of ourselves helps

Building relationship with the other person is very important

Importance of feeling comfortable with each other

Paying attention to body language, voice, eye contact

An approach with kindness decreases defenses

Considering special sensitivities of another

Speaking directly to the person involved with whom we may differ

Trouble with niceness instead of honesty

Know we are not perfect, but assume we are all trying

 

The Advices and Queries for this month on "The Meeting Community", includes 16 relevant words: Mutual respect and care, sharing, sensitivity, inclusivity, commitment, affirmation, love, unity, listening, needs and difficulties, all focussed on the responsibilities of I and We

Other testimonies in Faith and Practice

Follow our Practice

We are familiar with the good ideas listed, but we are not familiar with the practice of them

Emphasize spiritual basis of our Meeting

It's easy to forget our ideal

 

Speaking my truth is very important to our faith

Don't confuse my truth with The Truth

Remember that certainty results in a lack of asking questions

Believing I know the truth makes me the most negative about thinking about others' thinking and motivation

Friends Truth is a collective approximation

Dialog as a method in the search for truth is an eternal process

 

Humor helps

Using questions about a subject on which I disagree

"Should" and "never" ­ are not helpful

Advice isn't helpful

It is hard to say, "I was wrong"

Forgiveness - How do I do it? - Let go of expectations

Persons I have learned from the most have spoken the least, but lived in the best way

Miss Manners (Judith Martin) said, "Etiquette does not inhibit conversation, it enables it.",

 

and "People can talk about anything if they are polite."

 

Listen to gossip with creativity

Resist the quick put down

Don't overemphasize a problem

Avoid letting hurts be embellished out of proportion to the matter

 

Quakers have a hard time with anger

Listen to another's anger ­ coming from a deep place

Children let out their anger and have a simpler life

Anger is necessary at times

 

Discuss a conflict immediately, to end it

Need to talk it out - possibly with a facilitator

A process for mediation after a conflict has occurred could be helpful

Procedures available in the Meeting include: Following procedure, Clearness committee