Multidimensional projects are interesting to teach and both interesting and damnably difficult to write. "Meditations on Violence" was hard. Good information, but it never felt organized. "Facing Violence" was better. Organizing an introduction to violence around the context was useful and much easier to write.
Violence is one of those things that is dead simple and incredibly complex. People use violence because it will get them what they want. What they want dictates how the violence will be used, on whom it will be used... there are always outliers, but the logic is simple.
On the other hand, like any form of communication, violence is incredibly complicated because it is hooked into every other thing. Relationship tweaks it. Environment, social milieu, brain chemistry all tweak it. The magnification you choose to view a situation dictates what you can do. The more connections you understand, the better you can manipulate things.
Working on the rewrite of the Conflict Communications manual and I am really wishing I could write (or, rather, that humans could read) in simultaneous layers. It has to build in logical steps from a solid base. Too much information too early is overwhelming. Some of it pushes buttons so trust must be gained. Sometimes you need one concept before you can have the language to understand the next.
That's cool, and that is standard for teaching almost anything. But I wish I could do it another way.
Maslow is a good starting point for understanding that different motivations drive different behavior. It is accessible and can be tied into anyone's personal experience. So we start there. Great. Remembering to be straightforward that it actually kind of sucks as a theory but rocks as a model.
The second model is a slightly harder sell. Not to everybody. There are some people who have experienced deeper parts of their brain, or who have read the right things and understand the concept at least intellectually. But this has potential to hit buttons or resistance. Not a big deal since being both true and useful people will get it... but that difference means it comes later. It can't be the lead-off concept.
But (and this is what is fascinating me right now, not just in writing but in teaching, too) the second concept, once understood, deepens and enriches the first. Maslow is cool. Maslow seen through the triune brain model is profound. And seen again under the violence comfort scale (originally in "Violence: A Writer's Guide")... but there is no way to get people to read and process three things simultaneously.
I think there are a few books that have to be re-read. Books that turn into different books once you have internalized the initial concepts. I think that happens in teaching, too. Not as often as people think it happens, in my opinion (lots of shitty teachers pretend to be 'nuanced' or 'deep' or --my favorite-- 'coyote teachers'). But there are definitely some things that I knew early and understood late, if you get my meaning.
Which Way is Up? - Teaching people to be able to move their feet and not stay planted is not easy. The 'freeze' tendency in all of us, alongside the one that automatically r...
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