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Old 11-06-2009, 01:39 PM   #32
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Dojo: Aikido of Northern Virginia
Location: Stuttgart, Baden Wurttemberg
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 4,376
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Re: The Martial Art of Difficult Conversations

Picture yourself an American Soldier on a Check point, your job is to keep people safe. So you stop car after car and make people get out of the car and stand aside while you inspect their cars...day after day after day.

You are doing your job, which you have legitmate authority to do, and in the greater scheme of things you are indeed protecting folks from greater harm and you understand this and you are justified.

However, the people you are doing this to, are not of any concern to you. You see 100's of them daily, they are all part of the process, they come they go, some might be terriorist too. So you don't really care that you are delaying them or invading their privacy...it is a minor inconvience.

So, you are a person being stopped. Everyday you have to go to another town to make enough money to bring food and medcine home to your sick realtive...it is a hard life and you only want to get through the day so you go through this check point everyday where you are poked prodded and search and questioned by an arrorgant, rude, sunglass wearing soldier in body armor that can't even bother to look at you as a human being. You don't like being treated like a "part of the process" it is your country, your community and you want the respect you deserve and have earned.

I used to remind my soldiers to consider how what you are dong is viewed from the other side...regardless of how right and justified you are....it is important to not only to the person you are dealing with...but also to you and your family.

I agree with Peter's assessment, this is a very overly simplified vignette for sure.

I think though that the reason I posted it was I thought it served as a good one to remind us to consider the other perspective.

Heck even when we dig defenses in the Army, we are supposed to go forward of the fighting postion and look back at it to view it how the enemy see's it.

It's like Sun Tzu 101 really!

I think too often we get caught up in our "roles" in society, especially in big cities where we have lots of rules both formal and informal to maintain good order and discipline. Coloring within the lines is rewarded typically with fairness and boarding the metro train in a fairly peaceful manner.

When we get cut off in traffic, someone parks in our space, runs a light, honks the horn a little too quickly...it is easy to get upset and get angry since that person is clearly out of line!

I think though that sometimes it helps to take a breath, and maybe put yourself in their shoes and maybe think about their perspective a little.

It doesn't necessarily have to change your position or response.

heck I would support towing the persons car! As Josh points out, the end result was that the car was still towed.

I used to be a a HOA board and had to do almost the same thing years ago in towing a car. Also had a neighbor that had a work vehicle that everyone felt was not within the rules of the association. It got nasty. It was going to go to court. It was going to be painful for everyone...and I was able to diffuse it. by finding a way for everyone to be win.

I like what Ghandi said. An eye for an eye and pretty soon everyone is blind!

Anyway, good discussion. I really just posted this on a whim since one of my buds on FB linked to it. I agree the article is a little "freshman", but it has generated some decent discussion!

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