Change the World One Coffee at a Time
With everything that is going on right now many people are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Some folks feel like they are out there making a difference. Others feel not only less connected with what's going on, but feel less connected with the people around them, including family and friends.
We have to be careful not to get so caught up into the current of things that we set aside our relationships. Be it old or new. Family or friend. Colleague or client. Employee or Employer.
Entrenching yourself in social media can make you feel less connected and more agitated. It's good to step out of that and get some face to face connection.
Heck, getting together on facetime, skipe or zoom is better than being a keyboard recluse.
Politics and special interest groups are weighing in heavily right now. There are many people choosing sides, who were once more moderate.
But don't forget the other side of things...
The human side.
The relationship side.
Connection helps to reduce the gap we experience.
Unfortunately though, connecting on social media can add more distance.
So, we have to go 'old school!'.
Remember, this is not new.
Conflict is not new.
As a matter of fact, much of what is going on in our country reminds me of other places I've been where people have conflicts.
It's simple really...
Where you find people, you will find conflict.
But you'll also find love, friendship and camaraderie... If you're looking!
One Coffee at a Time...
Moshe Katz, an Israeli Krav Maga instructor, author and friend of mine was once asked by a sincere American citizen on what his thoughts were regarding resolution between the Muslim and Jewish people in Israel. Moshe said that he didn’t think any type of resolution would come from political or government intervention, rather he believes that peace will only come “one coffee at a time;” meaning two people getting to know one another and seeing beyond their differences and building a relationship, one person at a time.
Get off from social media and go grab a coffee with someone.
Yes, yes, connect with folks you know and see eye to eye on the same subject, but also ask someone who has a different perspective than you to sit down and talk about things.
Preferably live in-person... but you could do it on a teleconference if you must.
Don't do a group meeting. They have different dynamics. Make sure its one to one. THAN after you did that, if you both want to open it up for a bigger group go for it, but start off just the two of you.
You'll need to bring your PeaceWalker Skills with you! Not because you're looking for conflict, but because you'll want to approach the person with a sense of firm gentleness. A willingness to listen.
You'll have to be in baseline. Keep your cool. Have a level head. Pose questions to open up dialog, understanding and connect.
While at the same time, pose some perspectives of your own.
It's easy to get fired up when you aren't seeing eye to eye on things... Especially the hot topics...
So, remember to breathe, listen and Smile!
Conversation & Connection
When getting to know folks, start with the basics. Family, hobbies, career, points of interest.
Here's a good question,
"How do you like spending your time?"
Find some things you have in common. Maybe you like the same type of music, or TV show. Maybe you've traveled to the same places, or like fishing or needle point or something.
Finding things you connect on will make it easier to get through the points you don't.
Make sure the conversation ebs and flows. The idea isn't to 'convince' anyone anything. This isn't meant to be a political or agenda driven debate.
First and foremost its to connect with another human being and explore your similarities and maybe, if the moments right gently touch on some differences.
Make a connection.
Look for things you like, appreciate and respect about the person.
Leave things on a good note.
Be sure to thank them afterward. Shoot them a quick email or text... or if you are really bold, mail them a little hand written note or card!
It Doesn't Have to Be So Hard...
There’s a lot going on in the world, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Sometimes we only look at the conflict, violence, and negativity...
But, stay grounded.
Yes, there is a lot that is out of our control, but have faith that deep down we are all connected and you can make a positive difference. So, when you have the opportunity to contribute or help in some way, do so, no matter how insignificant it may seem compared to the immensity of life. Your contribution matters more than you may think. It not only matters to others, it matters to you.
Remember, giant waves begin as single ripple and...
This is your time to Live, Protect & Inspire.
Starting with One Coffee at a TIme!