I’ve spent the last few days immersed in family history, including the story of two brothers who split apart, became business competitors, and apparently did not speak to each other ever again.
We cannot change the future by reflecting on the past. History cannot change, but it does not have to repeat itself.
Talk about having an argument! Something tells me this was over more than who got the wishbone after Thanksgiving dinner.It is of course pure supposition on my part, but my guess is that they never resolved their conflict because they focused only on what had happened in the past, instead of how they could work together in the future.
It doesn’t matter whether the conflict is about something monumentally significant or infinitesimally small; a conflict is really about one person losing so the other can win. I have to be right. So that means you must be wrong. Continue reading
Some people find it hard to give constructive criticism in a way that is effective, particularly to someone who is just learning a new skill.
When we offer both praise and criticism, sounding each clearly, yet beautifully, our words are powerful and effective.
It’s tempting to praise everything, or find fault with everything. Neither one is honest, but for different reasons.
Calling everything good, when it is not, is dishonest for obvious reasons. Doing so labels you as either ineffective or ignorant. Worse, most of us can at least intuitively sense when we’re not performing well, and when we’re told we’re doing better than we think we are, we correctly distrust the feedback as false and come to view the giver as uncommitted to our success. Continue reading
There is perhaps no conversation more difficult to have than the one where a single woman must say to her parents or her lover that she is unexpectedly pregnant.
Pandora’s Box held Hope, as well as Hate and Envy. If we hope to resolve issues that foster feelings as strong as hate and envy, we must start by honestly stating our beliefs.
Can you imagine what it would mean if no woman ever had to have that conversation?
There is no one single answer to the problem of unplanned pregnancy that will ever fit every woman and every situation. Our current public conversation, with its polarized positions, is never going to lead to any answers other than the situations we have now: unplanned pregnancies, forced marriages that rarely last a lifetime, single mothers raising children, and abortions.
This issue, like every other issue, is based far more on beliefs than on facts. What bothers me is that neither side states its true beliefs in the public conversation on this polarizing issue.
A more truthful conversation might frame up the two sides as the Right to Punish vs. the Right for a Woman to Enjoy Sex. Continue reading