Can a combination of Buddhist principles and divorce mediation techniques soften the rancorous rhetoric in the U.S. Congress? Seattle attorney Carol Bailey believes so.
Noticing similarly chasm-creating patterns in the language flying between the political parties as she saw in the conflicted couples she counseled, Bailey set out to produce a how-to manual for lightening up Congress’s communication. The result was Easing Congressional Gridlock, a pamphlet which offers ten principles for respectful and productive interaction, blending positive steps for healing dysfunctional families with a subtle infusion of Buddhist ethics. Once it was off the presses, Bailey traveled all the way to Washington to stir up the media and personally place the pamphlet in the hands of every Senator and House member.
A Buddhist since the early 80’s, Bailey recounted the genesis and reaction to Easing Congressional Gridlock for the spring issue of Northwest Dharma News:
People questioned, sometimes cynically, whether my efforts would make any difference, and at first these comments were discouraging. But what I eventually came to is that you can’t censor yourself out of making a statement. You can’t decide before you start that your efforts can’t make a difference.
In the end I realized that you have to put your own goodness out in to the world regardless of whether you can be sure you will make a difference.
Think your local politicians could use some of this wisdom, too? There’s also a dedicated site here for Easing Congressional Gridlock with a downloadable version of the pamphlet.