Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

Amnesty InternationalI bite my tongue. With my front teeth. Really hard. It hurts. Yesterday I bit my cheek. With my left molars. Really hard too. It is still painful.

This happens often. It is always a shock. And it always hurts.

I think I’m gonna make a dentist’ appointment and get my front teeth and left molars removed. That way they won’t hurt me no more.


That’s insane!

My teeth and molars are part of me, we are one?! I need them, they didn’t mean harm, what would I do without them, why not eat more slowly, so it doesn’t happen?

Everyone would think I’m crazy if I would remove my teeth and molars, because they hurt me. Yet, execution is standard practice in Texas, and other USA states (Executions per state).

Ray Jasper and Anthony Doyle are scheduled to be executed March 19 and March 27 respectful. Two human beings who made harmful choices in their efforts to escape their own suffering.

Killing them does not create safety. Killing them creates more suffering.

Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us the insight of interbeing: we are interconnected and we exist of self and non-self elements. I eat a carrot. Now the carrot is part of me, and I am partly a carrot. Elly exists of a carrot-element. I poop and my excrement is part of the world around me, the world exists of an Elly-element.

Once we understand interbeing, we understand that killing people is killing part of ourselves.

Killing them is not a solution, it is adding to the problem.

A better solution is to look deeply into the causes of the suffering. Which circumstances let Ray and Anthony to kill? When did we fail to offer our support, our love, our inclusion? Marshall Rosenberg talks about tragic expression of unmet needs. We try to nurture a beautiful, human, universal need and we are not creative enough to chose actions that support the needs at the I-You-and-We level. Which needs were Ray and Anthony trying to meet when they killed their victims? Maybe safety, financial sustainability, respect, a sense of belonging? How can we support them figuring out other ways to support those needs, ways that bring more peace and love to everyone involved? Themselves, others, and us as a society?

One lives among all.

We all need to wake up. We need to see that we are interconnected, that no one lives separate. We need to learn how to create a society that takes care of the throw-away children and leaves no one behind. We need to understand the needs behind the tragic expression of unmet needs, so we can support more creative and wholesome ways to nurture those precious needs.

Let’s speak up for a world of inclusion, love and support. Sign the petition to Governor Rick Perry to urge him to save the lives of Ray and Anthony. Let’s stop killing, and start healing.