Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.
- (Sufi Poet Rumi)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Request that Sounds like a Demand - Empathy in Government

Dear Friends and Members in the Path of Peace,

Instead of my weekly sharing/reflection I am offering this request for helping with the following. Because it comes with a sense of urgency (January 15th) this can be perceived as a demand. I truly, truly only wish you to get involved if it would bring your pleasure and help serve life in the ways that bring joy and satisfaction to you. How you can tell the difference between a request and a demand is if the requester really values connection over the request itself and doesn't mind hearing a "no." In my case I am smiling with the delight of working and sharing with you our hopes of peace in our families and lives and that is quite remarkable for me. And hoping to grow in that connection - connection first for me and action arises out of what we share together.

So to the request. I have been following the internet community building of President-Elect Obama and his team that is looking for the top ten issues the people of the US wish him to concentrate upon. Right now, Empathy and the Department of Peace have made it into the final selection. And Empathy has a good chance of getting in the top ten - this could really happen!

I'm hoping that you'd be willing to read further in this blog, and then consider the request to spread the word and vote yourself? For my part, I admit to wanting ease and from that space choosing to not bother with one more internet activity. Also in me though is the dream of a government that understands the value of empathy, of inclusion, of the dream of peace echoed throughout it's branches. I long to live that way, in fact, it's what first got me into NVC (Compassionate Communication). I have heard from so many NVC trainers and people on the various NVC list serves that I am hopping on this particular peace train and making requests myself of others.

My first request though is what you make of this request and how goes your time management and your dreams of peace? I don't hear from so many people on our UU email list serves for peace/NVC these days and I wonder if life is overwhelming for so many. Is this close to true? My second request then is if you will read further and go to the websites and vote for Empathy and the Department of Peace. My third request is if you could spread this word to your friends, congregations, UU/NVC contacts, etc. The deadline is January 15th, so there isn't much time - hence the urgency and the tinklings of a demand. May it instead feel like the beloved community calling your forward in delight and pleasure.

In gratitude,

LoraKim Joyner
UU Fellowship of Gainesville
Compassionate Communication Working Group Co-ChairT

here's a movement of citizens inspired by the presidential campaign whoare deciding the top 10 ideas for how they think the Obama administrationshould change America. It's called "Ideas for Change in America," and it'sbeing run by Change.org. There are two proposals: One is called “Bridging the Empathy Gap- Yes We Can!”and the other is “Appoint a Secretary of Peace in Department of Peace andNon-Violencehttp://www.change.org/ideas/view/appoint_secretary_of_peace_in_department_of_peace_and_non-violence.

Your votes are not just about bringing ideas to the ObamaAdministration your votes are about creating awareness and leverage tomake change. Change.org and the Case Foundation along with othernon-profits will create a lobbying campaign to develop the top 10 Ideasand bring them to the congress.

PLEASE VOTEandSPREAD THE WORD in any way you can think of to get us there. Click on anylink here. It takes about 5 minutes or less. Make sure you follow theinstructions until the vote box turns and stays red.As I write, “Bridging the Empathy Gap - Yes we Can!”is in 15th place with 3391 votes and rising at about 35 votes/hour. Weneed to increase that to about 50/hour to be within the top 10.


  1. Do you have any useful suggestions as to how I can make this demand sound like a request Rev. Joyner? Then again that may not be a good idea considering how poorly the UUA responds to certain requests. . .

  2. Dear Robin Edgar,

    In looking at your post, I hear pain over the incidents and frustration that you yourself not being heard. Is that right? So I'm wondering, what you really, really long for - to be heard? Empathy? A way to make a request in a way that will be heard? I'd be pleased to be with you on any of these - how shall we proceed?

  3. Hi LoraKim,

    I only just saw this now. I have already emailed that "less than diplomatic" demand for restorative justice for myself and all other victims of U*U clergy misconduct of all kinds to UUA President Bill Sinkford, UUA Moderator Gini Courter, all UUA Trustees, and a variety of UUA administrators around TEA time Thursday January 15th. I have posted what was emailed to President Sinkford to The Emerson Avenger blog here. Needless to say I want to be heard. I also want to be responsibly listened to and have what President Bill Sinkford once rightly described as my "obviously deep concerns" responded to in a manner that actually lives up to the U*U principles, especially the first and second principles that call for respect for the inherent worth and dignity of every person, and justice, equity and compassion in human relations. To date the UUA has abjectly failed and even obstinately refused to live up to those principles in its rather inhuman human relations with me and other people who have been victimized by U*U clergy in one way or another. I was indeed looking for suggestions for somewhat more diplomatic language that might make that request/demand easier to hear and listen to by UUA leaders but I needed it by last Thursday at the latest.

    I have not had the slightest response from anyone that the email was sent to. Not even a confirmation of receipt. This "jihad" has been going on for some time so it is entirely possible that people were instructed not to respond in any way to my "electronic communication". If you think that you can pass the same message along in a way that will be heard, *listened* to, and responsibly acted upon you would be doing the U*U World a world of good. You may reach me privately at - robinedgar59 @ yahoo.ca

    Thank you for your offer of help in this matter.

    Robin Edgar