Posts Tagged ‘respect’

SAVING AMERICA: HOW TO REVERSE HATRED AND RESTORE UNITY

Our country is experiencing the most tumultuous and dangerous period that I can remember since the race riots in the 1960’s. Political dissension, racial profiling, random massacres, gender prejudice, a reckless and deceitful media, entitlement, and more have caused a division of American of Biblical proportions. Some believe terrorism to be the greatest threat to our national security; others say it’s our economy or healthcare system. There are those who claim it’s the political venom that resides in our nation’s capital while some hold our current or prior Commander in Chief fully accountable. Yet in truth, America’s greatest threat today is the hatred and extremism among our own people.

Regardless of what’s occurring in Washington or what is being reported in the news, the division of our great country lies in the hands of each and every citizen. We are the ones responsible for buying into the rhetoric, the lies, and the repugnance put before us. We are not sheep – we are intelligent adults with intellect and free will. We have the capacity to collect data, process it, make distinctions concerning which issues or beliefs are valid, and respond in an smart, fair, open-minded, and thoughtful manner with regard to all parties concerned. It is terrifying to see how easily people are being manipulated by lies perpetrated upon them by one political side or the other or from individual citizens or groups that push their agendas of hatred and bias under the guise of equality and prosperity for all.

One cannot pick up a newspaper, turn on the news, or read social media without being subjected to hatred and divisiveness. Yet to bury one’s head in the sand and avoid facing the reality of what is happening is both unpatriotic and dangerous. This issues will not resolve themselves and will only escalate unless the courageous are willing to take a stand and peacefully put an end to this wickedness.

“All that is necessary for evil to exist in the world is for good people to do nothing.”

Here are some practical suggestions to save America and restore unity:

~ Remember that extremism never works whether it’s in regard to our political beliefs, religious practices, loyalty to our heritage, financial status or any other matter. Extremism causes a distortion of reality. Moderation creates a healthy balance and keeps everything in its proper perspective. Moderation is the solution. Consider your own beliefs and examine them for any radical ideologies.

~ Before spewing hatred of any person, party, or group, consider the impact your words will have on our entire country, including yourself, your children and grandchildren, friends, and loved one. Words are powerful and can easily result in similar actions. Consider that you can only get back in life what you send out into the world. Hatred begets hatred; kindness reaps unity.

~ Disagree without disrespect, hatred, condemnation or violence. Always be respectful to all whom you speak of or to. Disagreements can inspire growth; disrespect and condemnation can lead to aggression. We’ve disagreed peacefully with one another for over 200 years; we can do it again.

~ Listen objectively to both sides of the political agenda and media coverage in regards to policies and what is actually happening in our country. Somewhere in between the extremes lies common sense and good judgment (in regard to creating policies) and truth (in regard to reporting the facts).

~ Discuss, share, and post in person or on social media FACTS ONLY. When sharing opinions be certain to state them as such. Refrain from promoting misinformation by fact checking using reliable sources.

~ Encourage open minded dialogue for the purpose of understanding the other person’s perspective. Remember that each person’s position, no matter how different from yours, is equally as valid to them as yours is to you. If an objective must be reached, agree to some sort of compromise.

~ Go out of your way to extend a kindness to everyone you encounter regardless of familiarity, age, race, nationality, gender, political affiliation, religion (or lack of), and so on. Search for every opportunity and every excuse to perform an act of kindness for someone.

~ Accept what you cannot change. Not everything in life is meant to go your way. Mature, fair-minded adults will find some sort of internal resolution when they concede to the other person or party. Find some way of making good come out of the current circumstances and move on.

~ Realize that sometimes one side must acquiesce so that the other can gain. Remember that the pendulum always swings back in the other direction. Just as in sports: sometimes one team wins and the other loses. It’s a natural part of life. But even in so-called losses, one can extract great value.

~ Promote peace, kindness, cooperation, oneness, forgiveness, acceptance, and mutual respect. Speak it and live it. If what you are about to say or do does not fit into one of the above categories, do not engage in it. Find another option.

Never before in our history have people in this country been so gullible and bought into so many lies and distortions. Our great Constitution begins with the words, “We the people”, not “We the sheeple”. We have always been great innovators and autonomous thinkers. It’s time to get back to who we really are rather than the hateful, gullible, mindless followers we’ve become.

There’s an ancient story about a young man who approaches the great philosopher Socrates stating that he has something to tell him about one of his friends. “Before you impart any words on me,” Socrates said, “it must pass the Triple Filter Test. First have you made certain that what you’re about to tell me is absolutely true?” “Well, no,” the man replies. “It’s just something I heard.” Socrates continued. “Is it something good?” “No, not really”, the man replied. “So let me get this straight: you want to tell me something that you have not verified is true, and it’s also not good news. Is it at least useful to me?” he inquired. “No, it’s not”, the man concluded. Socrates shook his head. “It’s not true, not good, and not useful. Why then would you share this with me? What is your purpose?” The man could not give him a reasonable response. So the question is, would your words pass or fail the Triple Filter Test?

I believe in the basic goodness of the American people and I also believe that there is hope for our great country. But as citizens and visitors, we must all share in the responsibility. To blame others is both childish and irresponsible. So what are you waiting for? Will you be the one to turn things around, to take the first step to restoring civility to America? Will you be the change you want to see in others? I will and I am. I pray you’ll join me. Let’s make our country noble again by making our country kind again.

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Be great.”

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I DARE YOU TO ASK THIS

Relationships are critically important in our lives. On a professional level, being a good team player and getting along well with others enables us to maintain our jobs and receive such perks as bonuses or promotions. Also, connecting with the right people can advance our careers providing we have good interpersonal skills. How people feel about us on the job plays an important role in how successful we are professionally speaking.
In our social lives, relationships take on another vital role. Being able to form and sustain healthy bonds with others impacts the number and nature of our friendships, provides opportunities in social settings, allows for ease of living in our neighborhoods, improves our health, and contributes to our overall enjoyment of life.

On a personal level, strong intimate connections bond people together in marriage and secure the future of the human population. Intimacy of an emotional nature holds families together during life’s most challenging times. It also multiplies our happiness and sustains us through our darkest moments. It allows for a deeper understanding of all parties which foster personal awareness, compassion, and growth. We are challenged to become better people as a result of knowing others intimately.

Humans are social creatures by nature and therefore need a strong skill set in order to develop and maintain mutually satisfying and healthy, balanced, long term partnerships. Getting along well with others lessens the chance of damaging conflict from erupting, eases tensions between both parties, enables the individual to forgive the indiscretions of the other, extends support and compassion to each other, and genuinely enjoys the company of one another. Learning to work or cohabitate in close proximity with others is not an easy task but certainly one that is attainable and definitely rewarding.

In recent studies it has been shown that those in healthy relationships are not only the happiest but the healthiest as well. They also have a longer projected life expectancy than those who are loners or who have difficulty interacting successfully with others.

For the most part people put forth a sincere effort in trying to get along with others. After all, it’s just common sense that the more gratifying our interactions are with others the less stress between us. Healthy friendships are easier on every level and people seek to avoid drama as much as possible. When we truly care about others and the nature of our interactions with them, we treat them in a manner that benefits all parties. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This philosophy has served mankind well for centuries.

Yet even with our best efforts we still find ourselves arguing, fighting, hurting one another, and becoming frustrated, disappointed, and disillusioned to the point where relationships suffer or fail. Many people are clueless as to what went wrong. Instead, of taking ownership for their role, they find fault with the other person: “You’re never satisfied with anything I do for you! I was a good husband/wife – there was no reason to leave me.” “I put my heart and soul into my job. How could they possibly fire me? This is so wrong!”

It’s difficult for individuals to fully comprehend their role in why a relationships didn’t work. We praise ourselves for everything we do right, for all of the effort we put forth, and for everything we overlooked in the other person. We’re also quick to criticize the other person for their imperfections and the mistakes they made. And in doing so, we remain oblivious.

Relationships are like mirrors: they reflect back to us aspects of who we are that we may not be aware of. If I want to look my best, I cannot see precisely what I look like without the assistance of a full length mirror to reflect back to me my own image. If I want to be the absolute best person I can be, I need others to point out to me what they see that I may be blind to. Yet when others comment on what they view as an imperfection, we fail to listen objectively to their comments. I do not deny the physical image the mirror reflects back to me. On the contrary: I am grateful that if I see something I do not like, I have the opportunity to correct it. Yet if someone points out a perceived flaw or defect, rather than appreciate their input, I become defensive and lash out at them. In essence, I deny myself the opportunity to learn something that may enable me to become a better person.

If you want to have strong, healthy, loving, joyful, respectful relationships you must be courageous enough to ask the following question. (And no, it’s not “What don’t you like about me?”) The question is: “Tell me what it’s like being with me?” This question is not for the faint-of-heart and if you are not fully prepared to consider the response, do not venture down this road.

The difference between the two questions I posed is that question number (“What don’t you like about me?”) opens one up to criticism, a perceived attack from the commentator on what they believe to be the shortcomings and liabilities of the listener. Few people are willing to hear such comments and may respond by attacking the integrity of the other party stating that they should be looking at their own faults rather than commenting on someone else’s. The second question, (“Tell me what it’s like being with me?” ), focuses on the individual’s personal experience of being in your presence.
Think of it from this perspective: imagine they are relaying their experience of being in the rain. They are not criticizing the precipitation itself but instead are speaking objectively about their first hand encounter of getting wet. Likewise with communicating their feelings about being with you, the inquiring party: since the focus is not on you, there is no need to become defensive and retaliate. You can simply listen to a recount of that person’s feelings about their encounter with you. Though not necessarily easy to listen to, it can be one of the most insightful opportunities of your life. “When we’re together, I feel uncomfortable, as though I need to monitor everything I say.” Or it can be positive: “When I’m with you, it’s like being with an old friend – very easy.”

Keep in mind: this is not a question for the fearful or insecure. One must be willing to listen quietly, open-mindedly, and without interruption to a complete recount of what the other person encounters when in your company. In doing so, you are able to see yourself through their eyes and gain some deep personal insights into the manner in which you portray yourself. The way we perceive ourselves is rarely the same as others do. Most of us live in denial about the way we behave or are eager to make lame excuses for our actions that we would not afford others.
This exercise is critical in determining whether or not we fully know ourselves and are portraying ourselves accurately (i.e. we are living authentically, do our actions perfectly reflect our intrinsic nature?). Additionally, we will discover what works well and what doesn’t with the other person. I may have a very strong energy that for the majority of people does not present a problem. But for my best friend I may project myself as aggressive or angry. Knowing this allows me to adjust the way I interact with her in a way that she can better relate to and feels more comfortable with. Doing so naturally improves the quality of the relationship.

If I want to look my best then I need a full length mirror to reflect back to me what I cannot see on my own. If I want to be my best, then I need the assistance of others who also mirror back to me what they see that is troublesome so that I may remove it from my persona or improve upon it. Only in doing so can I become the best version of myself possible. I owe that to myself, to others, and to the One who created me. So take the plunge: inquire of others “Tell me what it’s like being with me?” Then sit back, close your mouth, open your ears, and listen with the intend to understand and evolve. What others think of you really does matter.

In each of our relationships, let the well-being of the other person be our primary concern. Always be certain that their lives have been enriched for having spent time in our presence.

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

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A W-I-S-E APPROACH TO RESOLVING CONFLICTS

In college, one of my philosophy professors would frequently have the class debate a hot topic. He’d randomly divide the class in half and have each side present their best argument in support of their assigned position. Regardless of how you felt personally, you were expected to gather as many facts as possible to present the strongest argument. It was actually quite stimulating as it challenged us to be willing to see the issue from every possible perspective. This lesson has served me well in life as I have always tried to view a subject matter from all sides.
In relationships, disagreement are normal and healthy. They allow us to open our minds to new ways of thinking. In business, brainstorming is a common practice whereby team members contribute every possible idea relating to the project they are collaborating on. Even those suggestions that are deemed unworkable still have value as they oftentimes spark a fresh idea that actually proves to be helpful. In politics, when applied correctly, the opposing sides can actually use their differences to find common ground that will serve the good of the entire country. It’s only when egos get in the way causing people to become fearful, selfish, and closed minded do disagreements cause tempers to flare and a breakdown in the negotiating process to occur.

However, there is a very W~I~S~E approach to resolving conflicts and disagreements with a high degree of success and minimal disappointment to all parties:

W – Wait: wait before you respond. A moment of pause can prevent a lifetime of regret. When the other party presents their position, if it differs from ours or what we were expecting, we can easily become upset or angry. An immediate response can cause an innocent situation to rapidly escalate into an argument.

In my book, The Secret Side of Anger, I teach people to practice the SWaT Strategy: Stop, Walk, Talk. When you find yourself become upset, Stop what you are doing/saying. In that way you can prevent yourself from saying/doing something regrettable. Secondly, Walk away. Out of sight, out of mind. Give yourself some space between you and the other party. Thirdly, Talk yourself calm. What you say to yourself will either cause your emotions to intensify or to subside. Once calm, return to the conversation ready to listen and respond rationally and fairly.

I – Intellect: use your rational brain to think about what is transpiring: the importance of the issue, what each party wants, how each person feels, and what it is that you each want to accomplish with the discussion. Oftentimes, we allow our irrational emotions to control our actions and comments. But emotions cloud rational judgment. It is critical that we remain calm so that our intellectual brain can gather all relevant data, process it, and determine the best possible course of action. Just as emergency responders need to put their feelings on hold in order to deal effectively with the crisis at hand, so must we be willing to do the same. And in doing so, we will make smarter more solution-oriented and all-inclusive choices that benefit all parties.

S – See and Smile: Always try to see things from the perspective of the other party. In this way, you are better able to understand their position and proceed in a more compassionate manner. It is imperative that we truly try to understand where the other person is coming from even if we don’t agree with their way of thinking. All people need and want to be understood and validated. This simple gesture begins laying a foundation of trust that enables both parties to move forward in a fair and timely manner towards a mutually agreed upon solution.

Smile: Did you know that the simple act of smiling releases endorphins in the brain, those feel-good chemicals that enable us to keep a positive attitude? A smile keeps your face friendly and your voice cheerful as well. While this may not sound like a significant gesture, it is in fact a powerful one. Would you not prefer to converse with someone who had a friendly face as opposed to one sporting a scowl?
Smiles are contagious and make us appear more attractive to others. They can lift our mood as well as the moods of those around us and have been shown to lengthen our lives as well. A smile wards off stress which in turn enables us to remain calm and focused. Our bodies relax making us less threatening and more welcoming from a physical perspective. All things considered, a smile is one of the most powerful tools we have in maintaining healthy inviting relationships and getting those differences resolved peacefully.

E – Express: Throughout the entire process, be certain to always express with respect – speak to one another with dignity and reverence at all times. Even those we don’t care for, who can be obstinate or rude, deserve respect. Ironically, many believe that respect must be earned or given to us before we are willing to reciprocate. However, Divine Law dictates otherwise. “Let all that you do be done in love.” “Love one another.” By our very nature, we are perfect beings deserving of respect. The very word respect means “to value”. Our Creator imparted equal worth to each of His sacred children.
One can be passionate, upset, angry, disappointed, or disagree with the other person while still expressing themselves in a respectful manner. I cannot expect others to treat me with regard if I am not first willing to do so for them. Ghandi’s inspiring words remind us to first be the change we want to see in the world. I must be the example of reverence that others may aspire to emulate.

I’ve always admired those who possess the gift of wisdom. Now each of us can be W~I~S~E in how we resolve our differences. If each of us followed these four simple steps, by example we could have a dramatic impact on reducing the amount of anger, fighting, and negativity that occurs in our immediate circles. Gradually, this would impact us on global level as well. Put some good vibrations into the universe by keeping conflict resolution peaceful and productive. Be W~I~S~E and be triumphant.

Q “Speak from the heart. Let all your words be tempered with kindness and in doing so you will garner respect and cooperation from all.”

Order The Secret Side of Anger, Second Edition or The Great Truth @ http://www.pfeifferpowerseminars.com/pps1-products.html

Listen to past shows on iHeart Radio @ http://ow.ly/OADTf
Listen to my newest iHeart Radio show, BETWEEN YOU AND GOD, @ http://ow.ly/OADJK
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