Allan Tranter from Creating Communities joins The Brekky Show. To teach us how to reconcile with ourselves before we talk about reconciliation with others.
We have to balance the different voices we hear inside our head, recognising that we were made to have a place in the community which is about “common good.” But the world has fooled us into believing that if we look out for ourselves first, if we acquire many things — we will be happy.
These voices have been shaped by all the things that happened to us along life’s journey. All the conversations we heard our parents and friends having. The “village elder” – those people who are considered wise through life experience – who used to have such a strong influence over people’s formation are no longer heard. Mass media and social media have removed that element of society for many people. So we just hear our Facebook friends and their opinions. Our feeds are shaped by what we are already interested in so we don’t get to hear alternate views.
We tend to be surrounded by people, “just like me”, so our values and views are reinforced without much thought.
So, many people, have a narrow and shallow view of the world – mainly about me.
I read a great book about 25 years ago by Susan Jeffers called Feel the fear and do it Anyway. That helped me recognise the internal conflict that I had was quite dysfunctional. You see my default position when something goes wrong or someone upsets me or people I love .. is revenge, death and mayhem. That’s got nothing to do with anyone else apart from what was going on inside of me. I had to realise that I was angry because of me and the stuff inside of me. The loud voice calling out that it wasn’t fair and I needed to fix ‘em.
Everyone is shaped by all of the “yesterdays” in their life. All the messages and we hear it through the voices arguing in our head.
My simple view is this; we are created to live in community with others, many of whom are very different to me. We are created to focus on the common good, on being a part of a whole, not being the only thing.
But we are constantly bombarded with messages about individuality, about our right to be the best, a sense of entitlement.
Until each one of us is willing to have this discussion with ourselves – to realise that we need to reconcile the internal battle fought over many things. Many of them negative, many of them isolated, many of them misinformed. We will be focusing our energy on many things which will never give us the peace that we seek with ourselves and for ourselves.
As I said, in the beginning, these are just my views based on working for over 40 years in the community space, reading, listening, learning … But, like you and everyone else .. my reconciliation with myself is still a “work in progress.”