Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

Image courtesy to Flickr

One of the assumptions of Nonviolent Communication -as I understand it- is that when we connect to the universal needs underlying our differences, we can find solutions that work for everyone.

I like that. It paints a world in which we all can find happiness, peace, harmony, joy, and love. It speaks of a world of acceptance, understanding, and inclusion.

Do I believe this is possible?

Yeah! Duuh!

Even in the most challenging circumstances of disconnect, distrust, and despair, I’ve always found NVC opens connection with others and support for all needs on the table.

We have a natural tendency towards compassion and comradery, and I think there is nothing more fulfilling than to contribute to the well-being of others (and ourselves!).

I have a sadness about what I perceive to be the missing link: awareness of the needs of those living beings who cannot speak for themselves, such as future generations, those with less resources, and animals. I wished we would include the needs of those not in the dialogue, yet impacted by the outcomes of our solutions. If we brought more awareness to their needs, we probably would make different food-, work-, travel-, and social choices.

I, for one, stopped eating meat and birds when I found myself turning off the shower and making an effort to rescue a spider that was frantically trying not to drown. I was perplexed when I realized that I brought so much care and compassion to this creature, and ate my bacon beef hamburger happily a few hours later. Did I not think that the pig and the cow on my plate had been equally terrified when they were slaughtered for my appetite? Did I not care about the horrendous circumstances of their life and journey to death? How could I go to bed with a clear conscience, knowing I had contributed to suffering in unique creatures, whose names I didn’t even know?

It doesn’t take a genius to understand how much harm and torture we deliver to animals for our consumption. I’m pretty sure YouTube offers vivid footage of the keeping, maiming, and killing of our food. (I watched some years ago, and don’t have the stomach to do so again).

I stopped eating fish after I watched Finding Nemo. I had cried my eyes out over the terror of the fish being hunted down. I realized the cognitive dissonance I was creating by crying over a cartoon and enjoying my raw herring as a snack.

I’m not perfect. I still act in ways that are directly or indirectly harmful to other living beings. I just want to share my passion for compassion for all beings. Please, leave a response, so we can enter into a dialogue how to support all needs.


You want help to make choices that include the needs of all living beings? Contact me 512-589-0482 to schedule a complimentary discovery session.

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