Post-Election Thanksgiving

Post-Election, why couldn’t Pence have said, “Thank You,” to the cast of Hamilton?
“Thank you for sharing. I hear your concerns. It is our future administration’s intent that everyone benefit positively from our policies. Congratulations on a great performance!”
How AMAZING would that have been.

Alas,  We the People must become the leaders we wish our leaders to beWe the People must act wisely by carefully guiding our leaders to make decisions that form our more perfect union. We the People want equality, diversity, and inclusivity. Even those who chose Trump did so because they no longer felt included. We the People must not make the same mistake nor let our new administration repeat it.

How do we do this? Bear with me.

When I showed the 1936 movie Fury to my students (see my blog on Fury), Clinton was expected to win the presidency. The film was to help them understand how a mob forms, succumbs to violence, and pays a deep price for it. This awareness was meant to help them understand what was happening IF they witnessed others joining post-election mobs.

But Clinton lost. While protests from her supporters have generally not turned into angry, violent mobs, Trump’s have. His supporters interpret their win as a right to let the genie of bigotry and hate out of the bottle of pent up frustration. I was wrong.
Ironically, it is not the loser who expresses distress through violence, but the winner.

That said, it is easy to compare Trump’s rise to power with Hitler’s. Rightly or wrongly, doing so stokes fear. We need to stoke love. We need comparisons that show different and positive results. Let me share one success story.

Ruth C. Cohn (1912-2010) escaped Nazi Germany. The experience of its cruel regime influenced her life’s work. She studied psychoanalysis in Switzerland and eventually came to the United States. She became convinced that the benefits of psychoanalysis for personal growth could apply to groups as well, including “the multitude of distraught people under Hitler’s dark shadow.” She developed the system of TCI (Theme-Centered Interaction) (aka TZI) as a way to teach the power of personal human growth to groups where interpersonal relationships play out. Her goal was that all human beings develop their full, inherently good, potential.

“I would like to encourage people who do not want to suffer all of this suffering not to be resigned and to feel impotent but to use their imagination and their ability to act in a spirit of solidarity as long as we still feel autonomous forces within ourselves. This is the real thing I want with TZI. ” — Ruth C. Cohn

Despite Ruth C. Cohn’s long term residence in the USA, her work is most popular today in Germany (of all places) but also India and other parts of Europe. Could her method help us here, today, to come together as a “more perfect union”? Could her four-factor model help us express our INDIVIDUAL concerns while becoming a healthy WE as we work through a task or issue (IT) while acknowledging all the possible influences (GLOBE)?

TCI may be one of many tools that we can learn to help our selves — and our leaders—participate as reverent and responsible “chairpersons” in the process of perfecting our union.

This is our challenge and our gift. For this opportunity, We the People can be grateful.

As you gather around your Thanksgiving table, consider this blog as a theme for centering interaction. How can Each of us lovingly become part of a more perfect We?


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