Being nice is not always the best way to serve people

We in wealthy nations live in a post-modern, pluralistic world, where the unwritten code is non-judgement, non-violence, happiness, and all things sugar and nice. I am not anti these things. On the contrary, I know that all these things are true but also partial.

There are times when we need judgment, we need sorrow, and we may also need violence. But, at the core, I believe in the good in people and have been aware of my naiveté in this area at times.

However, after one incident where I was stalked by a man for several weeks and then experienced three home invasions whilst my infant daughter and I slept, I decided it was time I learnt to defend myself. I took private classes in self-defence. My excellent instructor was passionate about supporting people in becoming able to take care of their physical safety under almost all conditions. He insisted that I go beyond the hurting stage of infliction and get into the maim and kill stage. Why? Because if I didn’t, I would never really ~get~ self-defence. If someone attacks me with intent to do extreme violence, unless I can respond quickly and to the extent my opponent is seriously hurt, I am not defending myself. In the process of crossing this threshold and looking into my ability (or not) to inflict serious harm, or to kill, I had to look at the part of myself that can do this or is afraid of doing this. I had to make friends with my shadow.

To the extent that we deny the shadow aspect in ourselves is the extent that we live a half-life with fear as our ruler.

I know I can kill, and I would if it was a life-or-death situation. Heavy words. Heavy topic. The paradox is that because I am no longer a victim of my lack of ability to defend, it is unlikely I will ever be attacked. I do not project weakness or fear in any form in this way. I have looked my shadow in the eye and integrated that part of me.

(To be very clear, I would use violence as a last resort and only in extreme situations.)

Gandhi was a great role model for modern society. One of the few. The question is – would his methods of non-violence have worked in Nazi Germany?

Like most things, it depends upon the context. Worldviews. Current circumstances. Culture.

Using the Integral Theory and exploring stages of development, the Amber ethnocentric stage of Nazi Germany’s development was not the same as the stage India under British rule was at when Gandhi practised non-violence. The British were at a more pluralistic Green stage, with a heavy dose of Orange take-as-much-as-we-can, which afforded a very different response. Under the rule of tyrants of the level of Hitler, Mugabe et al. I am not sure that Gandhi’s non-violence would have been the best strategy. Idealistically, I would like to believe that he could have turned the situation around through non-violence. However, he would have been likelier to become a statistic much earlier.

Dare to Care – Radical Truth with Compassion recognises that people are at many stages of development, neither right nor wrong, good or bad. Therefore, as master communicators, we must adapt our communication to suit the stage we are communicating. Further, we must adjust how we are present in our thinking and being according to the stage we are speaking to. There is no one right way. There is only the way to speak and respond, depending on the context, audience and environment.

Judgement is not bad. I need to make judgements for my safety and survival. If a large man is showing malicious intent towards me, I better quickly judge my situation. When I judge for the sake of my ego – for feeling better than or right – I can reasonably examine my judgments.

Being nice is not always the best way to serve people. If you have someone who can’t sing to save themselves and you tell them they are OK at singing because you don’t want to hurt them or crush their motivation in any way, that is not being of service to them. That is colluding with them in denial. Yes, there are ways to tell them, some better than others, which is what we teach in Dare to Care.

I need to care enough about you, to not care about what you think of me. That is a great act of service. And serving others is precisely what Dare to Care is about, without exploitation of self or others.

It requires us to speak what is true and know the difference between truth and ego. And to do so with exquisite care and compassion, willing to step into passion, sadness, anger, and even violence. If I cannot say NO to someone with complete alignment and using the maximum force of my character, then I will remain a pushover, indecisive, and without a backbone.

Learning to speak truth from an Integral frame is what Dare to Care is all about. As people begin to move from the post-modern, pluralistic world into the post post modern integral world, discovering along the way that, at times, violence, judgement, strong opinions, criticism and sorrow have their place, they will need to learn to speak with clarity, heart and an absence of ego, from that place, relevant to the audience and environment, and in the spirit of service. They will need to Dare to Care.

In a Beautiful Syntropic Enterprise, where integrity is the Source Code, enabling real, radically truthful conversations sets the frame.