I have already talked a little about my personal journey in A Little about NVC and Me and Why I Am Committed to Nonviolence.
I started to explore Nonviolent Communication (NVC) around 2003, and it had a profound effect on me.
Go here for the Blogging Carnival for Nonviolence 2019. And go here for information on how you can submit your blog post. If you have ever given empathy to, or received empathy from, someone, at home or at work, or in any context, please blog about it and share your experiences with the world.
As I have said before, Violence Begins at Home. I grew up in a family in which I experienced an enormous amount of verbal violence on a daily basis, as well as some physical violence. My mother was (and is) severely mentally ill, and never received any treatment for her condition, which was, and remains, undiagnosed.
I was subjected to constant, daily bullying and undermining for many years. Nobody helped me or supported me, apart from my piano teacher, who was very kind. But other than her, the people around me gave me the message that I did not matter. I did not count. My feelings and needs did not count.
I carried these internal messages for many years. When we receive the same messages repeatedly - be they positive or negative messages - we internalise them. That is the way the human mind works. And, as we live in a racist society, we are subjected to daily negative, racist messages, and we internalise them. This is why we experience so much self-hatred, and why we find it so difficult to work together and to trust each other.
I am unravelling my self-hatred and replacing it with self-love, but I still have work to do in this area. Of all the methods I use, and share with my students, NVC has had the most profound effect on me. NVC is based on EMPATHY.
As I said in Why I Am Committed to Nonviolence, our self-talk continues to affect us.
Children and young people who are exposed to violence in the home are more likely to become involved with violence outside the home. And, as part of the legacy of slavery, our families often use violence - both physical and verbal violence. I am sure my mother was profoundly affected by the racism she experienced on a daily basis when she was a young person.
Of course, violence affects every community. But my community - the global African community - is my priority.
In order to address the violence affecting the young people in our communities, we, as adults, first need to address our own patterns of behaviour - including our self-talk.
The violence affecting our young people has to stop. This has to stop. If you agree, comment "Yes!" below.
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