SELF & OTHER COMPETENCY
Differing Perspectives Represented in the Classroom
video by Will Braden, 2012
Through comprehensible communication; through revelatory imagery; and though overt, empathic emotional connection, we can use what are now performing as tools of war (advertising, visual and auditory propoganda, mis and dis-information, the promulgation of idiocy through an inculcation of fear by mass media …), to be transports to understanding, acceptance, and ultimately to some kind of world civility and respect.
My MAT cohort of 2015, had such widely differing perspectives on interpersonal relationships and communication - such widely differing abilities to exercise the very skills we were being taught - that the refusal, the inability to engage in constructive dialogue, created a resentment between two people that festered and continued to grow throughout the entire school year. My entire cohort was placed under extreme psychological distress. Because of government educational guidelines, our faculty was prohibited from any outreach - even though they are highly trained in conflict transformation.
I deliberately refused to become part of the particulars as I wanted to be someone with whom my classmates might freely chat about their stress and interpretation of the event. Although I did not know any details, I did know which of them were directly involved and can surmise at least one
of the difficulties raising its ugly head.
A cultural clash. Lack of immediate communication between the injured parties, and spreading
their distress to others. Lingering distress and inflamed psyches.
My suggestion for breaching such differences. Immediately speak up to the injuring party. Some examples: Why did you do - say that? I am hurt - distressed - offended. What did you mean? Engage at the moment. Break through your cultural barriers.
We studied how to do this in many of our courses, yet the learning was not applied - or perhaps never happened. The result was a continuing lack of comprehension of the offense on one side and anathema on the other.
If you - my truly dear, dear, MAT 47 cohort - read this, know that I would have done anything in my power to relieve your impasse and reduce your stress. We each have a core of connectivity through our humanness. Sometimes it takes a very long time to find it.