Thursday, September 08, 2005

Listening Skills? - Checks - Bush - Katrina - Authority

During my 20 year career in management (which I left a decade ago thankfully), and also through various interpersonal training opportunities, one of the most emphasized skills necessary for success was lauded to be "learning to listen."

Thus, trainers un-numbered would teach(and still do teach) listening skill exercises such as: "Be interested". "Repeat back what they said." "Ask questions about what they said." etc etc.

The trainers only got it half right -- meaning they got it wrong. Listening to what you're about to say before you say it is equal if not more important than listening to what someone is saying to you.

Listening is the most important skill, but it's most important and enlightening to listen to what YOU have just said. Chances are you've blown it, demonstrated your total lack of empathy, humanity, understanding of the conditions/lives of your employees/family member/lover/neighbor... or citizen of a flooded state.

What we say is habitually based on our assumption that life for all is intrinsically like our own life and that everyone respects and likes us that way. Both are huge and incorrect assumptions that plow over the needs and sensitivities of those around us - or can effect us for good.

Here's some examples:
a) In one software company I worked for, the recently hired Director of IT (about 6 weeks with us) was handed his personal check in the hallway by the HR manager as she made her rounds to management. The IT Director accepted the check and laughed, saying (out loud), "What's this? Another check? I haven't even opened the last envelope yet." Dozens of nearby employees trying to afford the rent/food/child care/schooling on an every two week delivered paycheck heard "I'm making more dough than I need or can use." (The comment was even dumber if it wasn't true, don't you think?). If he'd listened to himself with sensitivity for the lives of others around him, he might have not made such a blunder.

b) When President Bush shows up for a quick tour of Katrina's devastation and says at the same press conference that: the FEMA Director is doing a good job (about whom all the press have shown timelines proving there was massive delays in response) ; followed by a statement that a (well- to- do) state official's home was completely - (he repeats) "completely destroyed too" and that he (Bush) looks forward to sitting on the rebuilt's house's porch, while he's in the midst of a region where tens of thousands of people are left with nothing, including no water for days...Well, let's just say there's a difference between the perspective of the person who said those things and the perspective of tens of thousands of displaced people, many of whom were living at the time in a New Orleans stadium where they were being raped, the toilets didn't work, and food and water were scarce and mothers feared their children would die. (Even if Bush didn't see this on his tour - and he couldn't have because he didn't go there - he could have watched it blaring from TV screens where the film made the destruction and anguish clear)

On the other hand, if President Bush had also mastered the art of listening to what others had to say -- he would have heard the painful cries for care, for sustenance and left his vacation earliar, released the military to help, air dropped water/food/medicine.

c) Here's an example courtesy of Barbara Bush (President's mother) : She stated on 9/5, in a segment at the top of the show American Public Media's Marketplace program (and numerous others) where she is on a tour of the Astrodome housing evacuees of Katrina that "Almost everyone I’ve talked to says we're going to move to Houston." Then she added: "What I’m hearing, which is sort of scary (italics mine - ck), is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them."

Okay, so Barbara was probably taken back and not at her best, because she has never been surrounded by so many (thousands of) poor (or those whom she assumed had been poor before a hurricane destroyed their lives), much less black people, in her entire life (whom it must be stated weren't at their best either).

So, per her comments, Barbara's scared they all want to stay in Texas (her state), and (here it comes, are you listening?), these people had been so poor before that living jammed in a stadium with all their possessions gone, family members missing or dead, missing medicines, and wearing borrowed clothes, and having no idea how they are going to rebuild their lives, etc., is better than their lives before. She also was assuming that these bedraggled people had been destitute. Perhaps they just didn't think such massive disruption was possible, or that if they lived 20 miles or 60 miles inland that they'd have their lives turned upside down. But thousands inland have no homes, too.

Others hear Barbara saying that Barbara thinks all blacks are poor. Is it possible?

So, these are just three examples of how a person can fail to understand themselves (not to mention an outside situation) by failing to listen to the words we state that express our beliefs about others, and the scope of understanding of the immediate situations around us. We all do this. What do the words we voice reveal about us - and how do our words affect others?

The only authority that is worthy of being believed and followed is authority utilized for the well being and betterment of people's lives, society, and the world balance. Voice that,help create that, and you'll be fine - so will others.

Yours in Radical Peace,
Claire Krulikowski

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Radical Peace, HAARP, Hidden Agendas, and Reconciliation?

I've been asked how to reconcile the concept of living a Radical Peace with not only the "devastation of storms such as Katrina, the Administration's political blunders, and the likelihood of the military use of HAARP (military program for weather modification in existance since 1992, with other programs preceding it for decades prior) in actually whipping this hurricane into the surging fury it became 'quite suddenly' ".

Maintaining the clear vision of radical peace means that reconciliation does not exist nor is it required. Reconciliation would mean an attempt to have radical peace live with these other conditions, and that is not desired or possible. With radical peace we live as if in the eye of what seems to those not in the eye like a hurricane of emotions and news, yet in a higher vantage point than ground zero. From our vantage point we can see through the illusions, feel the heart of it, speak the truth about it, and lend our energy to healing the area and lifting limitations that will clear a passageway of truthful information to the heart of those in doubt and open passageways enabling the needed goods and services to reach those in need.

It is easy to be drowned or tossed wildly to and fro in the tumult of "disasters"; that is the habits we have grown accustomed to living by. So it is easy to see ourselves, our loved ones and become vicerally engaged, yet have no doubt, that accepting your self at ONE with those caught in the storm, left homeless, without adequate food, water, and sanitation, with children in danger of dying from malnourishment and disease, is the source of your freedom and their freedom. In its way, that is a good thing, because it shows your recognition deep, deep within you that we are all ONE. However, to become viscerally ensnared leaves you in dispair and powerless to lend your energies to raise the energy of these areas; you drown before being able to reach those you desire to rescue. On the other hand, to treat it as just "the news", perhaps as a self-protection mechanism, perhaps out of habit, breaks that bond we share with others in need upon Terra. So, of all those, it is the spiritual leveling rod of Oneness that weaves our web, our net, our humanity, our solutions.

It calls us to recognize ALL of it an illusion, because wherever there is lack of concern for those in need, wherever there is pain and fear, plots for control, etc., it is all based on beliefs in illusions. Radical peace sees the illusions of powerful people who don't share emotional concerns for the masses of humanity, but let policies and procedures and plans halt any potential opportunity to unite with and run to the aid of the poor and impoverished; Radical peace sees the illusions of powerlessness enculturated into the lives of people no matter where they live; Radical peace sees the illusory belief systems that allow people to be hypnotized into believing the statements and policies of governing officials rather than the mandate of God to care for all (as a dear friend once told me, "No one shall be truly fed, until not one person is hungry"). So, where does your allegiance lie?

And, yes, Radical Peace sees the illusory positioning and plots of officials and organizations that are designed to garnish power and wrest control for key individuals/organizations.

Once acknowledged, the fear previously stirred by illusions can either continue to capture a person, or the acknowledgement from a higher ground can free a person from the grasp of the illlusions; the latter because, once acknowledged, it is not the shadows that are our concern any more. We don't keep our eyes steeled only onto them anymore. Just a slight tilt of perspective means we focus our loving energies on the "hot spots" for healing, and thus lift the barriers that have kept the illusions in place. We act reponsibly so others act responsibly and, too, so some others are held responsible, and in the wash of all of that a great unravelling takes place. The immediate, unbounded public response to Katrina has contributed greatly to a massive unravelling whose effects will be seen. Already some hostile political plans regarding Iran have had to be shelved as a result of the compassion - and the critical eyes - surging up from Katrina.

Yet, what about HAARP and the plans of some to utilize it for political and military muscle? Well, what is HAARP, many of you are asking. On the surface, it's a research program and it even has its own website. Check http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/. However, it is also held to be the latest incarnation of weather and environmental modification technologies that date back decades (HAARP, itself has been holding experiments since the early 1990s). See another couple of websites, such as http://www.crystalinks.com/haarp.html and http://www.bariumblues.com/ .

Is it a threat? Well whenever it's used it provides a danger to life and the ways of free governance various peoples are accustomed to. Is it illusory? Well, yes, in that it is not based on a focus of life enhancement and anything that isn't is chasing illusions of other orders.
How do I reconcile such things with Radical Peace? Again, this, too, cannot be reconciled. It is not an acceptable way of living and we do not desire to reconcile with/accept an undesirable life. HAARP is outside the bounds of peace. The belief systems (and their cloaking) upon which such programs are based are to be undone. Yet so many people would not know, or complete disavow the possibility of such things existing. Combine the waking to their existance with a waking to more personal and direct focus on creating a well cared for life for all people feeds the unraveling. Radical peace focuses on what is desired and that freed focus allows things "other" to reach general awareness, for systems or investigations to begin, for more truths to come to center stage.

Radical peace thrives with are active engagement in living and creating life in accordance with a Higher Authority for the goodness of all.

Meanwhile, on another level of note, if you have some type of housing (short or long term) you can offer to people who lost everything in Katrina so they have a place to begin sorting their lives out, check what you can do at website: http://www.hurricanehousing.org/?id=5959-6308997-xy5ZnpT9uRqd3G16bSd0Ow . (If it doesn't open when you click on it, just copy and paste it into your browser, and "go.").

Blessings,
Claire Krulikowski