Be the Change

All violence is the result of people tricking themselves into believing that their pain derives from other people and that consequently those people deserve to be punished.
— Marshall Rosenberg

I felt sick to my stomach watching the news of the explosions at the Boston Marathon yesterday. "Not again," I thought, "It doesn't have to be this way."

What would drive someone to commit such a devastating, destructive act? As I pondered that question, I imagined some lonely soul, desperate for love, attention, recognition, power, maybe even some perverted sense of justice... or perhaps someone lost in their own confused world of mental illness. 

Violence is what Marshall Rosenberg would call a "tragic expression of an unmet need." 

As horrific as the bombing was, the abundant outpouring of compassion in its wake was a powerful reminder of how much goodness there is in the world. People were running towards the explosions to help total strangers in need, risking their own lives to do so. Prayers of support for those impacted continue around the world. 

But there are mini-explosions occurring within 'normal' families every day. Explosions of anger that devastate relationships and destroy the sense of security of children who desperately need to feel safe and loved. It doesn't have to be this way. No child wants to be trapped in a war zone created by their parents, nor do they want to be forced to choose sides.

Any angry outburst is a "tragic expression of an unmet need." If your way of dealing with anger is not helping you meet that need, there is another way. 

Look for the deep need beneath the anger.

For a list of universal needs, click here.

If you want to be loved you must love; if you want friends you must be friendly; if you want just treatment, be just. Life is lived from within out. You may not always be able to change the world about you, but you can change your thoughts about the world; and when you do this, you change your world, which is a world of your thought.
— Eric Butterworth