Respect the View from ALL SIDES
The old parable goes....
Introduce an elephant to a group of blindmen. Place each one at a distinctly different part of the beast. Enourage them to feel a body part with their hands and describe what they experience the creature to be. The man who felt the leg says it is a strong tree. The one who stroked the floppy ear says it is a fan or a carpet. The one who felt the tail says the creature is merely a rope. Touching the trunk one is convinced it is a snake. The man who felt the body described a strong wall. The man who felt the tusk described a spear.
What point is it to argue your case, your viewpoint? To try to prove the other wrong? And your description the one truth. It is unlikely you get any man to change what he knows and feels to be true.
So how then, is a true and lasting peace brokered? How do you create an agreement of peaceful conduct and communication? I have been thinking about this a lot. That "lesson" is certainly UP for humanity right now. So many differing views, all clashing and at odds. So what then do we, the peacemakers, DO ???
To contemplate this deeply, I went to several "peace grounds" in my area. I spent some time at The Peace Pagoda in Leverett, Massachusetts. Walking to icy grounds there, and at a sweet spot down the road apiece, I had the following message come to me.
The Andara pictured, I have had for over a year. It only comes out to play at super potent times. It sang to me from my shelf and came along for the ride and the walks.
Comprised of all colors, layered and pressed together, with all the different textures and sides, it helped me remember this parable of the elephant. The most divisive communication patterns are when we demonize and polarize and hold zero space for a different viewpoint. For people to take a seat at the peace table, they need to be heard. They need to know that their voice matters, and is respected. We need to be able to neutrally see all sides, and hold space for authentic communication.
When I was contemplating peace, I was working with this andara. It showed me itself from all sides. And I heard "the sides" each offering their differing perspectives....
It is of the ocean, blue and green.
NO, I see lava and fire, deep orange and flowing molten purple.
It is perfectly smooth.
It is bumpy and lumpy and of most undulating design.
It is so large, I can barely hold it with one hand.
Look, how tiny and small.
WE ARE THE PEACEKEEPERS
We hold a stable neutral place, open to hearing all viewpoints.
To establish true and lasting peace, we need to hold space for it, within.
This PEACEGROUND ANDARA will assist us, anyone who wants to hold this space.