Let the conversation begin!

Today I  received a comment on my personal blog in response to a post about this blog!  I appreciated the person’s comments for a number of reasons.  I am not repeating the content of the comments here, because it was not the content of the comments that were significant for me, but instead, my own reaction to them, and what I came away with once I reflected on both the comment and my reaction.  The comment brought into discussion dreamsharp focus the opportunity that this blog offers to “model” processes of peace and power!

First, there was the issue that the person commented as an anonymous person.  In the context of Peace and Power, the “power of responsibility” is highly valued. One of my first reactions to the comment was that I would not respond at all, given the anonymity of the person who was commenting.  However, I do realize that on the Web anonymity is sometimes highly desirable, perhaps even necessary (although it still annoys me immensely!).  And for some people (perhaps celebrities for example) they might need a “cover” to protect their privacy. Still, for this blog and discussions around the challenges we face in creating “peace and power” I feel strongly about having some anchor to know who is “e-speaking” and decided to post some guidelines for the blog that addresses this and a couple of other issues – you will see these in the sidebar to the right of most pages, as well as on the “About” page main content.

Another issue with the comments of “anonymous” is that I could not follow what the person was conveying.  I could draw assumptions, but this would be counter to “peace and power.” So instead what we need is an opportunity to explore the ideas more so that I can be sure that I understand the meaning of the comment. In doing so we seek to draw on the “power of diversity” (understanding one another’s views) and the “power of process” (taking time to explore with one another rather than jumping to conclusions). On this blog, rest assured that part of our conversation will to be clarify meaning so that we have full understanding of one another and can respond based on that understanding, not on assumptions that might be in error. 

There was one phrase in the comment that did draw my attention because even out of context, and regardless of the meaning that “anonymous” might have intended, this phrase has real significance that deserves particular attention:

“ones power quickly effects the events and decisions of others”

I believe this to be absolutely true, and it highlights exactly why “peace and power” as a process is so important.  Every person has power that is can be used without awareness or consciousness as to how that power is affecting others.  This highlights why the “power of consciousness” — is so important.  The power of consciousness means constant attention to how we use our power, always mindful of values shared with others – choices derived from values that protect life, growth and peace. (See “Concepts”).

So thank you to “anonymous” for prompting me to reflect on these issues as a way to begin the conversations of this blog!

Author: Peggy L Chinn

feminist, nurse activist, writer, founding editor of ANS Advances in Nursing Science, quilter, grandmother nurturing the future of the amazing children in my life.

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