I've received numerous emails and texts from people around the world expressing concern and care for us in Charlotte in light of the recent "State of Emergency" here. Those communications are welcome and supportive.
But even more, they are indicative of the value and strength created when people connect with each other – connections that honor each person's wisdom and resilience. In that connection common unity is experienced – "comm unity" is realized.
It may be difficult to imagine during such tragic violence, but there is value in that people are trying to communicate. Often, because of a long-time absence of true communication and resulting pent-up frustrations, efforts toward communication itself can take on disrespectful forms of violence. Nonetheless, people are trying to communicate.
In Charlotte, communication is being recognized more and more community-wide as essential. There are many people who have been coming together in peace for discussion and understanding. The news outlets do not often carry this fact, but it is happening across our city. In fact, CSC's own Social Media Content Creator, A.M. Stewart, organized "Meditation for Love and Healing" supporting Black Lives Matter during this past week of protests. (Fox News got the event name wrong.)
Key to my efforts is the sharing of how mutual respect is the most important element of true communication. Until every person sees every other person as truly, totally equal – each having unlimited access to wisdom, each having the ability to contribute to the health and resilience of the entire community, then true communication has not been achieved.
It is my thought that despite the violence and ugliness of recent days, our community is in fact moving toward – not always in a straight line, but nonetheless moving toward– greater respect. Let us pray that this movement can be achieved with the least possible resistance.
This schism of thought is not unique to Charlotte. This is a national issue affecting every community. It only takes one unfortunate and misunderstood event to initiate personal thinking that can create extreme emotions and lead to unhealthy actions.
Each of us can help our communities understand the inside-out nature of life, that our personal thoughts about external events are what creates our emotions and actions, and that everyone can go beyond their personal thinking and hear wisdom and see clearly the most peaceful and healing courses of action.
What are you doing now in your community? Initiate a discussion group, meet with other community leaders, write a letter to the editor, or speak at a City Council meeting. Everyone can be involved. Everyone can do something to encourage communication and respect – to create the space – the pause – to allow wisdom to surface – to listen deeply to others allowing collective, community wisdom to surface.
Let us at CSC know what you have done or will be doing. We’ll share your thoughts and actions with others.