Somebody tweeted some vile sensationalist rhetoric into my timeline this morning under the auspices of ‘comment’ and I was very nearly sick in my breakfast. Other people’s lives are nothing to do with me. The particular story is so far away from personal life and experiences that even talking about it from distance just feels wrong. Speaking as someone who is making a lot of effort not to be confrontational right now… just, no.
Encouraging people to be better is a tough ask. Most don’t really care, especially if it has the potential to disrupt their own lives, and in so many cases things like this could. I made a little speech yesterday to a group of people about how we can try and unlock the door inside people’s minds behind which their true potential lies. It might also be a place that they want to keep very much closed. That was me, until very recently.
Trying to understand how to help people is an even tougher ask.
There’s a complex set of circumstances that takes place, however, that I am slowly beginning to understand. When you realise that your life is lacking something, this is normally the point where a previously difficult idea or unexpected concept has the most chance of successfully altering your viewpoint. However, the key is not what is presented to you as salvation, but whether you’re prepared to accept it or not.
Nothing will ever change unless you want it to. This is the issue I saw other people coming back to yesterday, watched groups discuss and grasp because pretty much everyone else in the room with me had accepted their shortcomings and knew that to ‘get better’ was nobody else’s job but theirs. There has to be an acceptance not only of guilt, but culpability. This is undoubtedly the hardest task of all.
This will not sit well with some of what I’m about to be taught in seven days.
Yesterday’s Time to Talk training was Events Management, which with an actual Events Manager on my table was a pretty academic ask. Next week however is the simply-titled ‘Social Contact’ training, required by anyone organising an event with the public if you are a Champion. Part of me already knows this is where I’ll struggle. Its where the most work will need to be done.
This is why I’m here, in essence, to learn how to interact with people that frighten me. This is the practice required to be able to become a more effective communicator. It is not easy, and I will struggle: last night I was mentally exhausted. It is not just body that needs training and conditioning, when all is said and done. There are other, just as important tasks to be completed.
If one mind’s stubborn door can be unlocked, then this is progress.