Dear Andrius and All,
How exciting that the meeting is turning out to be so well-attended! I
would be delighted to join you, and thanks for asking! I will be available
from about 11:30am onwards Sat, so let me know what works best for you. You
can alert me that morning my time, if you will not know for certain till
then what timeframe would be best for all of you.
I have much more to say in response to your own feedback and thoughts, and
will hope to do some of that Sat, as well as in writing at some point in the
next few days.
With greatest appreciation and blessings, Janet (assertiveness trainer :))))
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrius Kulikauskas" <ms@...>
To: "help group" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 26, 2008 3:44 PM
Subject: [holistichelping] Janet, call on Saturday? and assertiveness!
> Thank you for your leadership and many letters, but especially regarding
> how we might best structure ourselves and I would say, a culture, a
> movement for independent thinkers. I have been focused on our workshop
> in Vilnius http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org but I keep returning to
> your thoughts, especially your assertiveness in your letter below.
> Our meeting in Vilnius will be quite large, perhaps even larger than the
> one in Nakuru! and will last several days, notably from Saturday to
> Tuesday. Saturday afternoon we will have a meeting of Minciu Sodas /
> Pyramid of Peace (from Europe, Africa, Lithuania) and I think it would
> be great to have a conference call with you on these subjects, say for
> 15 to 30 minutes, if you are free in your morning or noon. (We are
> currently six hours ahead of you.)
> I reread your letter and I am impressed how thoughtfully you word your
> concerns, positions, decisions. I wish to point to your assertiveness:
> * I believe that changes in this regard should begin NOW.
> * it becomes even more important to organize ourselves in such a way
> that people will join us
> * I will not do fundraising and/or source support for anything that
> relates to what I regard as an older order, or which to my mind
> represents the antithesis of a healthy, holistic approach to development
> and peace
> * make very clear what I myself can and/or cannot do to be helpful and
> to advance our work
> I think the assertiveness which you practice is the whole purpose of the
> leadership structure which suggested itself and which I encouraged in
> our work to help Kenyans. I think the structure was original, was
> designed to foster such assertiveness, and in that sense any resemblance
> to an "older order" is coincidental or simply good.
> What is the role of assertiveness in the structures that you propose? I
> don't believe that assertiveness is simply a matter of crisis. Indeed,
> I believe that the willingness to let go is fundamental to the ability
> to stay together.
> As our activity has wound down a bit, I have been thinking, what do I
> want to focus on? especially regard to our structure around the world.
> My priority is to support independent thinkers and their growth and so I
> myself am interested that our structures flow out from that.
> We're all independent thinkers to some degree, but there is a wide
> spectrum. Independent thinkers are able to work together without
> agreeing. They are able to work-in-parallel, to work by themselves,
> even to work with a split mind, which is to say, not in complete
> agreement with themselves, pursuing different lines of thinking,
> different possibilities, different approaches. Indeed, this makes
> independent thinkers ever open (ever so slightly) to accepting the point
> of view of an opponent or even to allow for a God who may know better
> than we do, or simply a truth that knows how the lines of thinking fit
> together even when we don't.
> I think that consensus is important for listening to people. But
> listening should be kept apart from influencing. We influence others as
> independent thinkers, by not agreeing or not having to agree, by going
> our own way or being ever ready to do so. Listening - in the case of a
> group consensus - gives us the lowest common denominator, a reference
> point from which we can start a conversation with any person. Listening
> is important as we reach out to others. But I'm more interested in
> influencing and so I'm more interested to restrict my attention to those
> who I should influence, starting with myself. Given the choice, I can
> choose to influence myself rather than to listen to myself, which is to
> say I can shape myself so that I choose to hear what I wish to hear, I
> choose to live what I believe. I can influence others and let myself be
> influenced by them if we hold ourselves accountable for our influence.
> That is the culture that interests me.
> There are people who won't work with others unless they agree. That is
> the limitation of consensus as I know it. The people who succeed in
> that structure are those who like that limitation. I don't like that
> limitation and I am not interested to succeed in that structure.
> I think that consensus can be meaningful if we have a strong culture of
> leadership that calls people to grow. Strong people are eager to be
> around even stronger people because that helps them grow stronger. Good
> chess players love to play better chess players. I think that our
> leaders in Kenya have enjoyed our leadership structure because they have
> asserted themselves to do wonderful deeds they have wished to do.
> I think that the Kenyan crisis was a small crisis (thankfully). We were
> able to have a real impact. We find ourselves aware of much greater
> crises, of living in a system that crushes people brutally in so many
> ways. We excel in a catastrophe because we are able to perform when
> others aren't. Otherwise, we are forgotten. Yet I have learned that
> our structure was proven very good and has many applications for
> organizing ourselves to love our enemy, which might be a corporation or
> a nation-state or any plight or the system in general.
> Janet, I am therefore interested to understand you. What is the role
> that you see for the assertiveness that you show? What is the structure
> that fosters such assertiveness in the best way?
> I am keen to help people develop such assertiveness.
> Andrius Kulikauskas
> Minciu Sodas
> Dear All,
> Thanks immensely to Lawrence for his remarkable and courageous work, and
> Rachel, Dennis, and everyone for this excellent news abt the Nakuru
> We look forward to a more detailed report, and greatest gratitude Rachel
> contributing some of her own resources, which we will surely try to
> Andrius, I will be in touch with you about this, in part because I am
> sending something directly to Dennis for ActALIVE-REPACTED activities, and
> may run into sending roadblocks if I try to do more.
> The funding issues we are encountering will need to be addressed in a new
> way soon: I hope that Rachel and I can approach Safaricom, for example,
> other types of grants and supports can be marshalled at this juncture. Did
> anything emerge from the meeting about that? Is there any word from the
> on when we might hear about our proposals?
> The issue of funding brings up another matter for me: I hope that you saw
> my suggestions (posted Saturday) for possible ways to conceptualize and
> organize our efforts in the present and future. I believe that changes in
> this regard should begin NOW. I say this with emphasis because I believe
> need to shift out of "crisis" mode as quickly as possible (at least how
> particular crisis in Kenya has been addressed during the past few months,
> point of contention for a number of us), and that includes the language we
> use and how we define roles and responsibilities.
> We are now linking with--or hoping to link with--a number of other
> peace-related endeavors happening throughout the country, and therefore it
> becomes even more important to organize ourselves in such a way that
> will join us--and we will join with them--in a cooperative and egalitarian
> We do need "organization" for this endeavor, including "lines of
> responsibility", and we can collectively consider the roles that might be
> played by "peace champions", "peacekeepers", and "peacemakers", or
> terms we use for those who are engaging at different levels of
> responsibility in peace activities.
> However we choose to approach these issues, this consideration in my
> mind is
> crucial: we cannot truly have a new vision for peace, justice, and
> inter-personal/communal/tribal relationships, while operating within
> structures which speak to an older way of organizing and conceptualizing
> individual roles within the whole.
> I need to tie this to my own work and fundraising and donations: I will
> do fundraising and/or source support for anything that relates to what I
> regard as an older order, or which to my mind represents the antithesis
> of a
> healthy, holistic approach to development and peace. I don't mean this to
> try to "direct" what is decided in Kenya: this is more to make very clear
> what I myself can and/or cannot do to be helpful and to advance our work.
> Again, greatest thanks to all, and blessings and love to you and yours at
> this sacred time, Janet
> Please note our rule: Each letter sent to the Holistic Helping group
> enters the PUBLIC DOMAIN unless it explicitly states otherwise. Thank
> you! http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.org
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