Friday, April 3, 2009

Would She Ever Know?

(This is a special Guest Post from Robert Weir, Department of Peace supporter from Kalamazoo, Michigan.)
It has been said, if you swallow a frog the first thing in the morning, it will be the worst thing that will happen to you all day. This story is dedicated to those of you who will be visiting your congressional representative on Capitol Hill for the first time. You might be nervous or anxious about doing so, but the good news is that I have already swallowed the frog, so you don’t have to.

This is what I experienced my first time lobbying in 2005. In fairness to my current Congressional Representative, the Congresswoman mentioned in this story represents a district where I used to live.

Would She Ever Know?

“We should be showing those airplanes flying into the twin towers every day on television! We must never let Americans forget what they did to us!”

The speaker was the top aide of a U.S. Congresswoman, and the aide and I were sitting in her D.C. office. It was my first time lobbying, and I had expected to be listened to.

But, with each interruption, the aide blew apart my practiced laser talk, my prepared plan, my intended statements.

As he attacked my reasons for wanting a Department of Peace, I saw that my words were not going to influence this man. So, silence became my ploy.

In the spirit of tai chi, I saw each verbal snipe coming at me, and I imagined a shoulder in my psyche turning, allowing his words to slide by and become diffused in the great mahogany space
behind me.

“Of course there will be violence. Look at my home. I’m Irish. I married a Brazilian. We fight every night.”

And, once again, I saw how much we learn by being still. Did he realize the intimacy he had just revealed?

The aide and I were together for 45 minutes of which he talked for probably 40, slicing, dicing, and scattering my partial sentences on the carpeted floor.

As I left, I wondered if I were just what he needed that day — a reason to vent at the office. Maybe his home would be quieter that night. Maybe his wife would wonder what had made his day different than others. Would she ever know?"

Robert M. Weir - Writer, Speaker, Communications Consultant.

Author of "Peace, Justice, Care of Earth: The Vision of John McConnell, Founder of Earth Day"

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