The practice of SALT takes courage: this is probably what stuck most in our minds when Rebecca and Joel, Gaston and Laurence, Nathalie and her son Thibault, Rebecca’s friend Eerin and I were privileged to meet in Chiang Mai over the weekend of February 9 and 10.

It takes courage to start a formal meeting with introductions as humans
It takes courage to include a SALT visit in a workshop program, when everyone thinks they already know what communities need
It takes courage to state the qualities of the people whom a majority discriminates
It takes courage to remain non-judgmental but to keep appreciating strengths.
It takes courage to state that we live in a wonderful world and that fundamentally things are good.

So, if some day, you feel overwhelmed by the task of SALT practice, you are not alone. Remember that we are in the same boat, and that together we are making a difference.

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Comment by Tricia Francis on March 14, 2013 at 9:36pm

Thank You I'll remember that always :)

Comment by Susan Koshy on March 14, 2013 at 4:39pm
Wonderful message. (A meet that I missed).
And the most stirringly true message - "It takes courage to state that we live in a wonderful world and fundamentally things are good." I wake up every morning and go to sleep every night, believing it, and reiterate it often to realise it. Thank you, Jean-Louis.
Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on March 9, 2013 at 5:25pm
Joy Ferriols-Pavico Hi Rituu At Constellation, yes, it takes courage to introduce SALT. I have seen that in the team that introduced SALT here in our country. The threesome (Usa Duongsaa, Laurence Gilliot, and Geoff Parcell) did not have it easy either. But they were courageous and humble in appreciating our strengths and allowing us time for self realization to appreciate SALT as a way of life. So from ACP, we graduated into becoming a community and forming PinoyCompetence which slowly learns its ways into global community.  It takes courage to face negative behaviour. We may appear negative to the other party as well. Thanks for sharing Rituu
Usa Duongsaa Thank you Jean-Louis Lamboray, Rituu At Constellation, and Joy Ferriols-Pavico for sharing your thoughts/memories and adding smiles to my face today :-)   BTW, Joy, the three of us did learn a great deal from our first encounter in Manila, so thank you to our Pinoy friends for giving us another opportunity to learn and grow!   I do agree that in a world full of 'negatives', it does take a lot of courage to continue to believe otherwise and to act accordingly. Especially when we face severe adversity in our own life.  But I do strongly believe that SALT is the only way to be.  There's just no alternative!
Comment by Aleksandra on March 9, 2013 at 2:46pm

Thank you for those inspirational words. Coud not agree more...

Comment by Nathalie Legros on March 7, 2013 at 1:32pm

Thank you Jean-Louis, to give us the opportunity to feel and recognize the courage…

and thank you Rituu and Laurence for sharing and going deeper into what it takes to be in an uncomfortable situation, staying present as much as possible, despite the fear inside (or frustration or irritation) that arises when the ‘other’ is ‘different’ and do not act or talk the way we would expect or like him to do…

Understanding is for sure a big help to go through such an experience; there is also the atttitude of just LISTENING, suspending our voice of judgment, opening our ears and heart, creating a space in ourselves and around to see, hear, acknowledge, welcome what is there… sometimes so difficult and uncomfortable! It takes a kind of sense of humility and importance of what is there rather than what I expect to be there; a real learning experience!

Courage is also about stepping into the unknown (like throwing myself in deep water, not knowing but trusting that I will be able to swim), letting go of control… it is about feeling the resistance inside and outside, acknowledging the fears, but still standing, being present, going on, following the way, keeping opening, loving and trusting…

good day!

Comment by Laurence Gilliot on March 7, 2013 at 9:48am

Hi Rituu, interesting question you ask there :-) JL, interesting response which takes strength and courage to practice. It makes me think about 'what I think I should do to respond to negative behaviour'...

I think for me the key is about understanding. We all do, think, say everything we do for a reason. Sometimes, we use the wrong strategy to meet our fundamental needs. I true believe that if I listen carefully to this one person that has 'negative behaviour' (what is negative behaviour anyway...?) and I ask questions that help me understand the reasons why, the feelings that come with doing what they do, I will understand better. My judgement will melt away. 

I do think it is ok for us to express it when we suffer from someone else's behaviour. We have to find a way that is compassionate, constructive. And the first step is always understanding...

Comment by Jean-Louis Lamboray on March 5, 2013 at 5:27pm

Hi Rituu,
How do I respond, and how do i think I should respond: these are two different questions...
I'll try to answer the latter question.I'll let you assess my performance on the former!
The first step consists probably in my awareness that I am the one judging someone else's behavior as negative. If I am aware that this is my judgment, then I am on my way to SALT.
The second step (but are these steps, or just different angles of appreciation?), I can refer to Usa's advice
One day I asked for her help because I felt threatened by what seemed negative behavior by a friend, and I could feel anger rising in me.
What was her answer? "Keep appreciating strengths"!
Not easy, but then, as she followed up with saying: "What else is there?"
Warm regards
JL

Comment by Rituu B. Nanda on March 4, 2013 at 11:16pm

Hi Jean Louis,

How do you respond when you come across negative behaviour? I would like to learn and apply in my life. Thanks!

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