Communication helps us connect the multiple pieces or aspects of what otherwise might seem to be a complex, unsolvable puzzle, a problem that seems insurmountable, an injustice that seems daunting, a relationship that seems irreconcilable. Because history is written by the winners, the powerful and those profiting off the way things are, they control the stories told and the spin presented.
The Columbia River Treaty conference is an example of many people gathering and sharing their pieces of information to give a new picture of what was, is and can be. They told of the devastation upriver from efforts to control floods downriver. They told of people declared extinct as their traditional lands were flooded. They told of a lost language with songs, stories, insights and culture being restored. They told of salmon blocked from their spawning grounds and new technologies to whoosh them over dams or sidetrack them from power plants on the way downstream. They connected climate change with declining glaciers and stream flow. They told of contamination, liability, illness and cleanup.
They pledged to share the now connected stories and perspectives with others in their congregations, organizations, tribes/nations, communities and governments.
They pledged to pray and sing to stir spiritual energy, loving compassion, justice advocacy and empowering action to forgive, to clean up, to restore, to value and to challenge.
Communication across borders, among indigenous peoples, religious leaders, community groups and government entities helps us emerge from the isolation of hurt and divisions to enter the cycle of pursuing possibilities, in which everyone benefits. By communicating, we gain the words and wisdom to make the impossible possible.
As a new treaty is negotiated, people must communicate with each other.
As therapist Diana Hornbogen notes, when one piece of a crib mobile is touched, all parts move. She invites people to choose constructive, solutions-focused ways to communicate. “When we’re stuck, we might just need more or different information to reveal options we could not envision,” she said.
Communication is key to possibility.
Mary Stamp - editor
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