Do You Dehumanize Arguments? Choose Mindful Discourse!

Mindful Approach to Others

By Holly Duckworth

My momma used to say, “If you have nothing kind to say, say nothing at all.” What happened to that? Who changed the rules to say, “If you have nothing kind to say, dehumanize, post it on social media?”

This week I request that we all slow down as a human family and ask. Is this fear, anger, and rage really what I want my life? Do I choose to live in a world where angry tweets escalate into mean Facebook posts, which become viral YouTube videos?

Here’s the deal, we all start as a glob of cells that by divine arrangement become our spinal cord, bones, ears, eyes, skin and the perfect humans we came here to be. We cannot explain that process, and we are all one with that process. Oneness is not sameness. Last week I started work on my master’s degree in consciousness studies. Think of it as the connection of spirituality, philosophy, religion, psychology, leadership, and neuroscience. Huh? How do those things all go together? Oneness is not sameness. What you know what, I don’t know and I know what, you don’t know. We must re-visit our humanness.

In Braving the Wilderness: The Quest For True Belonging & The Courage To Stand Alone, by Brene Brown. Brene shares about our spiritual disconnection – or put another way our diminishing sense of shared humanity. Got an argument you are rehearsing in your head today? Are you on some level dehumanizing the person before you begin the war? I’m so moved by the message of this book I am co-hosting a book discussion group. Yes, this is your invitation to brave a new discussion in living and leading.

How about mindful discourse instead. Discourse is what we are missing. Discourse – the ability to talk, converse, debate, and consult with one another.

5 Mindful Choices That Turn Arguments Into Mindful Discourse:

  1. Humanize You! First Feel – Breathe &
    Is anyone else seeing what I am seeing? We have allowed each other to stop feeling, back to de-humanizing. As a result of this, it has become socially acceptable to throw out our un-feeling to the world. It’s ok to ask for prayer on social media but heaven forbids you to mention prayer most anywhere else. Save that for a church. Just as I went back to look up the words argument and discourse for purposes of this article I looked up prayer. In its simplest form it is a request and/or expression of gratitude. First feel where you are good or bad then make your request from a place of centered gratitude.
  2. Humanize Them – Listen with your heart, not just your ears. Don’t simply read with your eyes, and read with your heart.
    This takes practice and it’s so worth it. When you read something you disagree with in any form of media be willing to listen with your heart. What is this person feeling? What are they requesting?
  3. Respond do not react. Ask, your inner self, is responding to this mine to do? Ask the other person if they are open to discourse/conversation not simply an argument. Accept the ability to agree to disagree. Speak once you can even agree you are debating the same issue and can walk away in kindness no matter the outcome.
  4. Love – Is what I am about to say kind and loving? If not, you can walk away, unfriend, or follow in a caring way.
  5. Accept that we have created a world where we all start from the same cellular stuff and yet we are not the same. Honor, praise, and have gratitude in that.

A wise teacher reminded me this week. Rage, anger and upset are for your journal or other private places to vent. Not your social media accounts.

I’m coming to terms with the fact we don’t, won’t, and may never live in a perfect world. We can choose to create an imperfect world that works for everyone.

Do you want to reduce stress by practicing these new mindful skills in the wilderness? Sign up for my One Minute Mindfulness Challenge, join me for the discussion group this October or invite me to work with your stressed-out teams at work.

Mindfulness matters, if you have nothing kind to say, please, say nothing at all and simply breathe. Sometimes saying nothing and being present, kind and compassionate is enough.

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