Assumptions

I offer York Liberal Democrats, about every two months, 2 hour sessions on Meditating for Social Action. At these sessions, through meditation, silent reflection, group discussion, we explore a particular theme, such as intentions and effective listening, mostly using a reading. Participants have found the sessions really helpful very much enhancing their Lib Dem activity. By taking time to deeply consider such a theme and discussing it in the group, participants’ motivation to add this good practice to their political activity is very positively affected. For example the person organising our Executive Meeting found he was keener and more focused in getting all the preparation done and had a greater sense of purpose. 

Recently we considered Making Assumptions.

Making assumptions especially when we are in a novel situation is natural and can serve safety issues. For example I might be walking home in the dark along a road without many other people about and I find a drunk person is approaching me. I then might just as a precaution casually cross the road.

However assumptions, that the person then believes and takes action on, are often the root of prejudice, stereotyping and exclusion.

To avoid these negative effects when for example we meet a stranger, perhaps a new Libdem member or a constituent when campaigning, we need to be aware of the immediate assumptions that we form, we all do this, but not to form thoughts and believes around them but be prepared to find out more about the person, find out factual information, which you will be able to do if you take a genuine interest in them, even if it is only for a short time. In this way you are genuinely opening to who they actually are. I find having good eye contact greatly helps with this.

Years ago when I was in Leeds I was approached by a man dressed in an extreme punk outfit which initially for me was a bit frightening. However he was only asking the time and I found by giving good eye contact all my reservations went as in doing this I could see that he came across as rather insecure and shy. Most people find it difficult to lie when giving a gaze. I have recently discovered Politicians use eye contact a lot to exchange information presumably for this reason. However some people will probably be able to blank out and not give much information.

 So if in this way we can: 

  • Be aware of our assumptions when meeting strangers, or even people we know, and hearing ideas about a certain situation.
  • Don’t form thoughts and beliefs based on these assumptions that affect our actions.
  • Be committed to finding out the truth about the person or situation and then act from there. 

If we all follow this in the Lib Dems the flow of our work would be enhanced.

For more on Assumptions read Marcia Sirota’s article.

Quote from the Dalai Lama

Real change in the world will only come from a change of heart.

* Jane Reed is a Liberal Democrat member and activist in York

Read more by or more about , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

One Comment

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

This post has pre moderation enabled, please be patient whilst waiting for it to be manually reviewed. Liberal Democrat Voice is made up of volunteers who keep the site running in their free time.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 20th Nov - 2:41pm
    You can ‘hire’ 20,000 new teachers; but will they stay? Not if we don’t do something about workload and discipline in particular. Then it’s what...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Nov - 2:36pm
    The UK is home is home to GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, two of the world's biggest pharmaceutical companies. Foreign drug companies with a major presence and...
  • User AvatarSandra Hammett 20th Nov - 2:27pm
    For clarity: Is the current strategy that in the event of a hung parliament that we would attempt to form a government with the assistance...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 20th Nov - 1:10pm
    When the NI Assembly was last in session, with DUP and Sinn Féin sharing power, our sister party, the Alliance Party, formed the Official Opposition...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 20th Nov - 1:07pm
    Layla should press for a resurrection of 'Sure Start', which was hammered during the Coalition years and after. The charity Action for Children estimates that...
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 20th Nov - 12:57pm
    One of the lessons I try to convey to junior doctors (or in my case and after nearly a decade, more junior junior doctors) is...