Rosenberg’s thought provoking statements were important signposts, and they still are. It’s not too late, at least in the context of appreciating and honouring his contribution to this world, to seek out and courageously address the multiple ways in which we are unwittingly complicit to the destruction of the planet and the commensurate deadening of the human spirit. If we could grant more attention and effort to a life-centric orientation rather than defaulting to a personal human-centric one, it’s quite possible that some of what Marshall was dreaming might take root.
Let’s recognize that questions like how do I get my child to cooperate, or how do I get my partner to open up, or how do I deal with anger are best approached holistically. Interdependence and interconnection IS the way of life. This means that our conduct with each other and the words we speak do not occur in isolation but are rooted in forces much larger than what is immediately apparent.
"Our repertoire of words for calling people names is often larger than our vocabulary of words that allow us to clearly describe our emotional states" says Rosenberg. Emotions typically run high in conflict situations and when people don't have the language to articulate their feelings and what fuels them with accuracy and precision, which they often don't, it's like being on a stormy sea with no one at the helm; people get tossed about on the waves, sails get ripped and the relation-ship runs aground in a hurtful place that is a long shot from where it could have landed. Once people have developed the skill of clearly articulating their experience rooted in a consciousness that holds reverence for all of life .. while at the same time maintaining a vigilant alertness to the modes of thinking and speaking that create roadblocks to honest and fruitful dialogue, conflict then becomes much easier and more satisfying to navigate.
February 2, the memorial service for Pete Seeger was held today in Beacon NY where he had lived for 40 years drawing over a thousand people wanting to bid goodbye. I've thought about him every day since he died last week. The moment I clicked the YouTube video and heard his honest and gentle voice accompanied by that sitting around the wood stove on a family farm banjo, the tears flowed.