I just loved Joan Rivers. Sometimes she made me laugh till I cried. I always will remember her for her famous line “Can we talk?” And then she gossiped about events, fashion, headlines, and of course, the rich and famous. And in listening to her, we felt invited into her home, her world, and her life. We all knew her courage in dealing with her husband’s suicide and her plunge from fame to re-inventing herself and her art. She could be candid; she could be blunt; she could tell it like it was. And we still loved and admired her. Because she was real.
I wish it were that simple to just sit down with people and talk. Really talk…listen to both sides where no one is right and no one is wrong—where people give up a bit on both sides—where we make conscious decisions to let go of our righteousness, our power, our own sense of what is honest, just, and decent.
In our not sitting down and talking mindfully, acutely aware of the other person’s feelings, we provide more fuel for our fires of impatience and indecision. Some of us find the answers in beliefs that satisfy our misguided longings; sometimes those values are chosen to hurt and destroy; we make vows that allows for a continued cycle of silence. We chose to stubbornly ignore each other’s humanity and dignity. We do not allow time in our talk to discover each other’s gifts or talents which when globally enacted for the health and well-being of each other could really make a difference.
If we talked without being reactive, if we talked about our fears, dreams, values, and concerns, we would find we all want the same thing: love, peace, freedom—an unpolluted world not just environmentally but socio-economically. We want an unbiased political system. We want a world for our children and their children to thrive. But if we can’t talk, listen, and give a little on both sides, we will remain in conflict; whether it is in our homes, schools, workplace, community, country, and world.
So, can we talk; and if so, when? And out of our talks, will we finally be willing to consciously resolve our problems?