Sometimes the most obvious next step for the person seeking change is to reach out to the people blocking progress, and find out what exactly is going on with them.
The fact is, people do what they do for a reason. Sometimes, lots of reasons. People have their reasons, and if someone is doing things that interfere with you, a prudent choice is to attempt to find out what their reasons are. That requires connecting, relating, and communicating purposefully and successfully with someone who, at the face of it, is hostile to you. That hostility means they are protecting something they value, something they deem important. And the deeper you go, the more meaningful it becomes, and the less effort is required for change.
When somebody doesn’t make the choice to talk to somebody who is opposing them in this way, I’m guessing it’s a lack of confidence that is holding them back, along with a sense of isolation. Otherwise, I think they would first reach out to the person calling them out, instead of hiring it out to attorneys.
Reaching out is the human thing to do. It is through our connections that we can create healthy communities, by surfacing and addressing problems when they arise. And as things change, problems do arise. If there’s a problem, finding out what the problem is has to be the top priority what holds communities together. And if they’re not thinking of doing that, that tells me that they are uncomfortable with it. Perhaps they don’t think they can stand up for what they’re doing in a personal challenge, or perhaps they fear a lack in comparison, in some other regard. And to me this makes perfect sense. If I don’t think I can hold my own, talking to someone about it just isn’t going to happen. Most people are that way.
But avoidance is not an effective response when dealing with a challenge, not if progress and positive change are the desired result. In other words, getting together with antagonists and talking about it has to happen. Or at least you have to try. It demonstrates self respect. It demonstrates integrity. It very likely may create some trust, and a little trust is a great beginning. And I’m reminded of the words of wisdom found for so many years on the Dr. Bronner’s soap label: ‘If not you, who? If not now, when?’
If really changing this country for the better has even the remotest chance of success, then I’m convinced that good people must leave their silos, and start clicking with people, start building positive relationships. Objections are not a bad thing. Challenge is not a bad thing. Avoidance is the thing that ought to be avoided, if at all possible. Objections provide a profound opportunity to learn something about the deep structure of the people who seem like your opponents. Don’t walk away from it, walk towards it. Embrace the opportunity of it. And get clicking.
Because time is passing, we’re not getting any younger, and the need for a paradigm shift has never been greater. It won’t happen because of a mass movement. It will happen because of reaching a threshold of mutual understanding and respect. It will happen because of our relationships with each other and the commitments we make. It will happen one click at a time. And that time is now.