Dr. Amir Kfir was very privileged to be invited to attend and present at the NOW Assembly in Delphi, Greece, an international gathering of thought leaders, scientists, cultural figures and social practitioners.
Below is the speech that Amir presented to the Assembly, where he launched the idea of Forum for All, a movement to transform relationships and create impetus for action which can change the world.
We live in a world where there is a higher rate of continuous change. Change creates disintegration or decay. These are the centrifugal forces that cause things to fall apart; the reason why the islands in Greece are painted every year; why I must disconnect the battery from my motorcycle if I park it for six months; why I must invest in continuously building my relationship through intimacy and authenticity.
The impact of this falling apart is a breakdown in mutual trust and respect. Respect is the ability to look into each other’s eyes and to learn from each other, from our differences .Trust is the ability to turn my back to you, knowing that you will not stab me in the back (Adizes, Corporate Lifecycles, 1990).
In the past religion took the role of creating a society where each one viewed the well-being of others as their own.
ואהבתה לרעך כמוך (love your neighbor as yourself)
אל תעשה לרעך את אשר שנוא עליך (what is hateful to you do not do to your neighbor)
These are the unifying values of all religions.
While religion offered shared values, the individual beliefs, stories and practices were in conflict with one another and dismissed other alternatives of faith. There is a need to create a new unifying force and unifying space. A place where we come together to share emotion and manage consciousness proactively. There is a human need to feel a sense of belonging, both at the head and at the heart level. Human beings have a need for belonging, authenticity, vulnerability, and ultimately a sense of security in the times when we need each other as a safety net, while honoring the need for a mass demand for variances.
I have found such a space in a process that is called Forum.
It is a gathering of approximately eight people that come together in an environment of total confidentiality to speak about the things that are happening in their life; both the good things that require deep appreciation and recognition, as well as the difficult challenges that we all face - those that keep us awake at night, taking our sleep until resolved, only to free us to continue to consider new issues and new challenges that allow us to continue to grow and develop. Forum provides us with a group of people that could become both a sounding board as well as a deep support for moments when one feels lost.
These groups have a very particular culture, structure, process and protocol of conversation. This protocol focuses on not giving advice or telling other people what to do or not to do, but rather sharing with them your sense of similarity of the emotion, conveying empathy, as well as sharing your experience in similar situations either for you or for others you have observed, and the lessons you have learned. It is about being there for one another through understanding both the commonalities as well as the differences in how different people deal with similar situations or emotions.
It ultimately offers a reflection of the power within the individual, a reminder of their unique capabilities to deal wisely with the situation that they’re facing, provoking self responsibility and a “Yes I Can” attitude. Finally it offers support for the implementation of change and a sense of personal accountability for our own well-being through the choices that we make in the actions that we take, the things we say yes to and the things we say no to in life.
Forum offers a place where we are present in each other’s lives in moments of joy and celebration as well as moments of pain and mourning with deep appreciation and heartfelt support and care-taking.
A family is a forum by definition. It is a group of interrelated individuals that are present in each others lives to support each other with the knowledge that they can depend on one another. The relationships in the family can be significantly improved through the application of a protocol for conversation similar to the one described above, where they can learn to deal with conflict, proactively shifting from conflict to Nonflict.
As we embark on efforts to make the world a better place, we also need to have a group that is there to support us in action to keep us aligned with our commitment. A group where we can be driven together to achieve results of change to make our lives and the world a better place. This group could be a business, a family, or any other group of people who can gather around a shared purpose.
I see the Forum process as a platform both to develop awareness and shared consciousness for deep learning and to drive for action.
Thank you very much.
Amirror // A Million peacemakers
For more information on how to implement Forum for your family, business, organization or peer group, please be in touch with us.