What do you do if someone you know or a stranger nearby says something that fuels inequality and injustice? We should protest against it immediately but that be really difficult not only because we are often in fight or flight mode so our brain goes foggy but also because we need (quickly) to exercise emotional intelligence to know what would be the most loving and effective response to give at that unique situation. But… evil flourishes when good people do nothing. So let’s spend this week learning about the techniques and tools we can use when someone says something harmful that our heart and mind protests against.
JP Flintoff (author, coach, journalist and teacher in ‘The Art of Conversation’ is this weeks Visiting Professor, here to get us started on this journey.
Your homework for this week is:
1. KEEP A DIARY of all of the times you hear the words ‘need’, ‘should’, ‘must’ and ‘ought’, especially the times you use it yourself. The challenge from JP Flintoff is to ask yourself if it’s possible that you could have used a different and less violent word instead.
2. RESEARCH sales techniques and have a look at what it is that salespeople who are really good at selling do that you can do incorporate into your intimate protest, seeing the person you are protesting against as a ‘customer’ you can be in service to.
3. READ a chapter from activist and author Fran Peavey on ‘Strategic Questioning’ here: http://1215today.com/discover/5-ways-to-help-you-unlock-the-power-of-questions-fran-peavey/
To read a longer excerpt head to http://www.gti.today/Resources/strategic_questioning.pdf
4. WATCH the timeless classic film ’12 Angry Men’ and learn how one man steers the other eleven jurors towards the same conclusion through intimate protest. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050083/
5. SHARE with fellow students and staff on social media the type of questions you would ask people who say something you protest against to open up an intimate space for protest through conversation – share with #SchoolOfGentleProtest @1215today @craftivists @jpflintoff and let’s learn from each other
+ One of my heroes is Marshall Rosenberg, founder of ‘Non-Violent Communication’ – 10-minute talk on listening to what people need not what they say http://www.personalgrowthcourses.net/video/nonviolent_communication_nvc_video_rosenberg
and discussing the concept of non-violent communication: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dpk5Z7GIFs&t=8s
Longer free workshops here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LuPCAh9FCc
+ JP Flintoff – How To Change the World (book) http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/14478551-how-to-change-the-world
+ How I created an intimate protest with power holders using hand stitched gifts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTgMTeGqKv8