Today I took an opportunity to share an idea I thought might help contribute to peace. I was listening to NPR while I was working. The Kojo Nnamdi show was on WAMU. They were talking with author and professor, Peter T. Coleman, about Cracking Intractable Conflicts.
I posted a note on their website with an idea that had occurred to me while working in documentary filmmaking years ago. I wondered what would happen if you recorded people during peace negotiations (forget for a minute the obvious confidentiality concerns) and then each night after the negotiations they had to watch footage of themselves during the negotiations. I wondered what impact it would have on people to be able to see and hear themselves from another perspective, perhaps through the eyes and ears of someone else at the table. They might be able to see where they appear angry or appear to be inflexible through their body language, when that was not truly what they meant to communicate. They might be able to hear where their voice sounded aggressive or hostile. It might just help them all to see things a little differently. What if that could help in the peace process?
I didn’t know if they would actually address the question, but they did. The guest seemed to like the idea and thought that it was creative. Whether anyone will actually try the idea or not isn’t important as much as the intention to contribute to a more peaceful world by sharing the idea. That intention was felt by however many listeners there were at that moment for Kojo’s show and felt by those who listen to it online at some future date. You just never know who your ripples of peace might touch or if they will touch anyone at all, but it’s always worth making a little splash. Maybe then our combined intentions will create a great wave of Peace.