Friday, September 29, 2017

Man Up .......... they say BUT what sort of damage does that do?

They are living it out now right in front of me. Hell on legs.

I meet, talk with, work with, 
try to be effective with people 
who have lived a life that 
I could not even imagine. 

They are living it out now 
right in front of me. 
Hell on legs. 
It is for them. 
And I feel it. 

In discussion it comes out. 
Sometimes it takes along time. 
Then it is shared. 
Something big which they want to share. 
The climate must be right. 
For them. 
The time must be right. 
For them. 
It is so stinking good if they can let it out. 
To tell the pain. 
Tell their story. 
I love it ..... the privilege to hear it and share it. 
I hate it ..... the messed up lives. 

They are the products of people 
who have loved them, 
failed to love them or 
have been unable to love them. 

The groups I facilitate, 
even for groups of professionals 
who hold down substantial jobs, 
I see people open up in the right climate. 
And they love it. 
Even when touching their own pain. 
But then so easily ....
... the masks can so easily be returned. 
The communication can become so thin, 
so little given away. 

"I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, 
I myself become the wounded person" 
Walt Whitman. 

How to become a human person 
who accepts another unconditionally 
is a challenge. 
it is so easy for those with messed up lives 
to be harshly dealt with by the helpers. 
If not dealt with, the tone of voice, 
the 'after whisper' to a coworker. 

Feelings of inadequacy are hidden behind hurt hearts. 
We fail to love the unlovely as we would the lovely. 
We depend so much on the ball we throw to them, 
being thrown back ...... with a smile. 
How we fail. 

The trouble is, 
I honestly believe that we are responsible 
'to' people 
'for' people. 

That means, it seems to me, 
that we give what we have 
not what we haven't. 

We give until it hurts.
But sometimes that is not enough.
That means sometime, few I trust,
we need to make decisions
for the benefit of the whole community
and that often means
for the offenders benefit too.

But I hate that.
Most workers do.
For almost all, that is the worst outcome.
We can only give what we have.

Jean Vanier, one of my favorite authors.
He started the l'Arche movement.

"Wounded people
who have been broken
by suffering and sickness
ask for only one thing:
a heart that loves
and commits themselves to them,
a heart full of hope for them."


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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Back in the day Rolling Magazine in Germany (or Switzerlan?)

A really really old video ......

Zero 7 - a beautiful song "When I am weak I draw strength from you" VIDEO


I went to the bar for drinks & asked a question AND .....

I went to the Bar,
my turn to order the pints of lager,
and as she pulled the pint I said,
"Tell me one person on your mind right now"?

She looked at me and said it was unusual
to be asked such questions but
could I ask her another question .

The young woman, as I found out later, was nineteen - Kelly by name.
She serves at the bar in a Hotel in the Midlands of England.

I was away there for four days,
facilitating a conference.
It was a midlands region of YMCA's with their
CEO's, Chairs, young staff members and young humans -
all living in hostel accommodation because
they were homeless and with needs ......
....... haven't we all?

"What is your favourite scar" I asked.
I pulled my jeans up to the knee
pressed on my shin - revealing a big dent -
"This is mine"I said, "a rugby injury".
Kelly lifted her top from the waist and
pointed to her belly button - "that one",
and moving her finger to her left,
"and also that one - keyhole surgery on my appendix."
She went on to show me
one on her forehead and the side of her head
each one with a story attached.

Kelly repeatedly expressed how she had never
been asked questions like these and then ....
..... asked me for another one ........

The guys were really impressed when eventually
I returned to our corner with the beers.
She wouldn't let me pay for ages
and delivered the drinks to our seats
because she was engaged in all this Q&A.

Then we all started to engage .
All the young adults, all over 18, - we really had a great buzz going.
She was asking questions about our developmental programme
and more questions were forthcoming
for her to answer.

In years of serving drinks to the business community
she had never been involved like this - with questions and conversation.
She was really up for Level Five communication
which I said I would share with her the following evening.
The news spread around the conference –
that Pip had seen her belly button!

The next day we all arrived in the bar pretty late that evening
following a hard-working, powerful and beautiful day.
In my case it was 11pm as I walked in the bar, it was buzzing.
The whole group of CEO's and Chairs were interacting with Kelly.
There was laughter and all sorts of questions being asked
back and forth.

Already the CEO of the local YMCA, which does wondrous work with
hostel residents, detached youth work and children's programmes,
had asked Kelly to consider joining their volunteer team.
AND Kelly was waiting for more questions ........

The questions I asked, as far as I can remember, were::
If you had to have a tattoo in the palm of your hand
what would it be and why?

What colour are you?
A colour which describes your personality and character?

We all have abilities and disabilities
Tell me one ability and one dis-ability?
Not staying with physical but beyond into vulnerabilities.

These are being related to you in Kelly order.
There is a process here,of going deeper and more intimate -
between the drinks and the drinks ordering.

Think of an animal which describes me, I asked.
And why choose that one?

At the end of the evening I asked the big one.
One which is most searching of the soul.
Most asking of personal self disclosure .......
When did you become and adult?

At the end of the evening, following great communication
with our conference members - and Kelly, I did what I had promised.
I used a bar serviette  to draw the Level Five steps, 
and talk her through how, having this as a tool in her toolbox
can help in all sorts of personal and workplace transactions.

We said farewell with that feeling you get when you leave a conference
having worked together and bonded - collided - connected
and I love it love it.

Naturally I want to continue to ask you
to go beyond my story.
This will/maybe take you outside your comfort zones where growth resides.
Are you willing to journey with me for a few more moments?

I also want to reflect on why I do this.
What was the purpose and process.
So I start with this - why do I do this at airports,
railway stations, curry houses?

L5 is how I work and live          
I am an Informal Educator - a posh title for a Youth Worker.

Superficial, cliche communication darkens my soul.
L2 (Facts)and L3 (Opinions) are so instant coffee -
so why sip at these cups when we can venture into cappuccino,
espresso, latte - all depending on our taste.

The process I use instinctively
is to dive right in and ask a question.
Then, if someone is interested, I go deeper.
I ask more questions which
help in the self revelation process.
ALWAYS answering them myself first
which sets the climate of trust and openness.

That was what I did with Kelly
and she was outstandingly receptive and keen.

The first three words in 'The Road Less Travelled'
by M.Scott Peck,

There can be no vulnerability without risk;
there can be no life,
without community.
M. Scott Peck

The first three words in my last book 'Pip Wisdom'

'We don't have to be sick to get better' 
Carl Rogers

Why talk about the weather
when we can share more important stuff?
So I often test the water,
sometimes rebuffed,
sometimes go over the top,
sometimes someone has cautious willingness to go deeper.

I believe that we can enjoy developing together
and such interactions as above can feed our souls.
These moments can speed up the process of human development.
That vulnerability
is a strength
not a weakness.

'.... unless the members of a group interact with each other
then not only is there no group
but there are no group processes either.'
Tom Douglas -
Groups: Understanding groups gathered together.

This is where I am at.
I sometimes say the wrong thing.
A humble apology from me
can also be developmental.
For both in an interaction.

"And now you know I'm only human
Instead of all the things I'd like to be."

Are you aware how much you stay at L1,L2 and L3?
A way we can clock our own verbal transactions
is to clock others on the Bus, Train, Underground,
coffee shop or anywhere where humans are communicating.

So many contact me on Facebook and Twitter etc
when their friends are facing a tough time
and don't know how to share feelings.

There's one sad truth in life I've found
While journeying east and west -
The only folks we really wound
Are those we love the best.
We flatter those we scarcely know,
...We please the fleeting guest,
And deal full many a thoughtless blow
To those who love us best.
Ella Wheeler

L5 is not a hierarchy,
in social and emotional matters.
It seems to me, where I am at,
that we need to be competent at
all levels appropriately.

Are you able to move from opinions,
strategically,into sharing feelings
because you have that emotional intelligence?

Are you able, to change the climate in a dialogue,
from conflict to sharing feelings
rather than just thinking
of how to deliver a win-lose outcome?

"being vulnerable is the same as being authentic
and all humans warm to this
It seems to me that we all need to be on that journey
of joining the dots/inside meeting outside
and ...
... the longest journey starts with the first step ........"
pip wilson

feel free to ask me any questions -
all are developmental for me
as I have to scrape the surface of my soul
understand who I am - intimacy with myself.

Feel free to pass on any developmental questions
which I can use in my exchanges with beautiful humans.
(and feel free to use mine!)

I believe that
what triggers my vulnerability
also triggers my beautiful.
Knowing, and getting to know more of these
is like making friends with my enemies
and discovering they too are beautiful.
Pip Wilson

Kelly said I was a Dog,
a Spaniel,
the kind the police have -
intelligent in searching!


Simply about LOVE - we can learn it you know ....

is not an #emotion. 
Love is a #DECISION.

Not by
Status Stature 
 Can we win another’s love. 
 Only LOVE can do that. 

Awareness arrives before change 
Awareness always arrives before a new skill 
Awareness develops when reflecting on an experience. 

Become aware 
If you don’t like someone. 
 Become aware 
That it is their behaviour you don’t like. 
 Become aware 
That you can change to LOVE

Become aware 
That you can LOVE 
when you don’t LIKE 
Decide to LOVE not ‘LIKE’ 
because LOVE does a better job. 

We can only win another’s love 
by Loving. 



Monday, September 25, 2017

Bono on How U2's 'Songs of Experience' Evolved, Taking on Donald Trump

Bono on How U2's 'Songs of Experience' Evolved, Taking on Donald Trump
"I've always believed in working across the aisle
but there's a bully on the bully pulpit 
silence is not an option,” 
Bono U2

Bono explains why U2 took so long to release 'Songs of Experience' and why he's decided to speak out against Donald Trump.
Shortly before the Edge got on the phone with Rolling Stone to talk about U2's upcoming LP Songs of Experience, Bono's "brush with mortality" that sent the album into a different lyrical direction and his thoughts about the band's upcoming arena tour, we sent the singer a bunch of questions via email. It was a day off between between shows and he didn't want to blow out his voice chatting on the phone. Here is our complete exchange with Bono.

Bono Talks 'Joshua Tree' Tour, Trump, Status of U2's Next Album
"We didn't know if we could pull off a tour that honors 'The Joshua Tree' without it being nostalgic,” 
the frontman says. "That's an oxymoron"

You started this album three years ago when the world was a very different place. 
How did the chaos of Brexit, Trump and everything else shape the eventual course of the album? 
Would it have been a very different album had those things not happened?
On the latter part of the question, it's hard to quantify but 
I would say the emotional temperature is up about 25 percent.

You've spent the past few months playing The Joshua Tree on tour as you put the finishing touches on the album. 
Has the tour impacted how you thought about Songs of Experience? How?
In truth, there's a couple of reasons why we delayed Songs of Experience. 
One personal, one political. 
The world around us was certainly changing out of all recognition, 
we nearly lost the European Union, something that has helped keep the peace in our region for nearly 70 years. 
Globalization replaced with localization is somewhat understandable, 
but the return of hard right views is not to be tolerated. 
If Marie La Pen had been elected president of France, 
the whole idea of a European Union would have been vulnerable.

You've had the same sort of disaffection in the United States with the rise of a new kind of constituency, 
people on the both left and right who have lost faith in political process, the body politic, in political institutions. 
These sentiments are easily played and manipulated by the likes of Donald Trump. 
In a world where people feel bullied by their circumstance, sometimes people fall prey to a bully of their own. 
Lots of people around me, both conservative and liberal, 
feel that this is one of those defining moments in their life and in the storied life of their country. 
After the election, some people on the left were almost grieving I'd say and when I try to understand this, 
I realized there was a kind of mourning, a mourning for innocence that was lost.

For the first time in many years, maybe in our lifetime, the moral arc of the universe, 
as Dr. King used to call it, was not bending in the direction of fairness, 
equality and justice for all. 
The baseness of political debate, the jingoism, 
the atavistic fervor of Trump's verbiage reminded us that we were dreaming 
if we thought evolution applied to consciousness. 
Democracy is a blip in history and it requires a lot of focus and concentration to keep it intact.

"The Blackout," which started off its life about a more personal apocalypse, 
some events in my life that more than reminded me of my mortality 
but then segued into the political dystopia that we're heading towards now. 
"Dinosaur, wonders why it still walks the earth. A meteor promises it's not going to hurt” 
would have been a funny line about an aging rock star. 
It's a little less funny if we're talking about democracy and old certainties – like truth. 
The second verse "Statues fall, democracy is flat on its back, Jack. 
We had it all and what we had is not coming back, Zac. 
A big mouth says the people they don't want to be free for free. 
The blackout, is this an extinction event we see?” 
goes straight to the bigger picture of what's at stake in the world right now.

There's a song called "Get Out of Your Own Way" where I've tried to use some biting irony 
to reflect the anger out on the streets 
"Fight back, don't take it lying down you've got to bite back. 
The face of liberty is starting to crack, she had a plan until she got a smack in the mouth 
and it all went south like freedom. 
The slaves are looking for someone to lead 'em, the master's looking for someone to need him. 
The promised land is there for those who need it most and Lincoln's ghost says get out of your own way."

Many of your albums were made with either a single producer or the team of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. 
Why have you moved towards working with so many different producers on single albums?
Since The Joshua Tree, I don't think we've done an album with less than four producers. 
Though Flood is not credited as a producer on The Joshua Tree, his input was extraordinary. 
Achtung Baby, he was credited as a producer along with Eno, Lanois and [Steve] Lillywhite. 
Four producers seems to be the way for us, one for each member of the band. By the way, that's a joke. 
I think actually there's five on this one.

When we spoke a few months ago, you were critical of the production on 'Songs of Innocence,’ 
saying it lacked "coherence," "should have been more raw" and that some of the songs worked better live. What did you do this time to make sure that didn't happen again?
Thomas Friedman in his book Thank You For Being Late 
speaks of how machines when they're put on pause cease productivity, but humans when they're put on pause begin a different kind of productivity. 
The pause on our album gave us a chance to play our songs live in the studio, 
strip them down to their bare essentials without any studio trickery to see what we really had. 
That was a great gift to the album even though in some cases we didn't want to run with the live feel, 
we learnt so much about the songs and that helped with cohesiveness.

On The Tonight Show you added lyrics to "Bullet the Blue Sky" that were unambiguously about Trump. 
Is that a sign you're going to become (even more) 
vocal about the dangers he poses to the world?
It is a little bit of a departure as I've always believed in working across the aisle 
as an anti-poverty activist but this isn't a matter of right or left. 
There's a bully on the bully pulpit and silence is not an option.

You've talked about how you want U2 to create joy in these insane times. 
Can you elaborate on that?
Unlike happiness, joy is one of the hardest human emotions to contrive for an artist 
but it is the mark of my favorite artists whether that be the Beatles, Prince, Beethoven, Oasis. 
It is life force itself. And I think something to do with the spilling over of gratitude for just being alive. 
Indeed as I think of it, Beethoven has his "Ode to Joy." The Supremes singing "Stop in the Name of Love” 
to me is one of the great anti-war songs. 
Although think it's about a lover's betrayal, the highness of the melody, the simplicity of the statement could be Ramones, 
could be Coldplay but I don't think there's anything more defiant than joy in difficult times. 
And the essence of romance is defiance. 
This is where rock & roll came in, this is what makes us useful. 
We must resist surrendering to melancholy for only the most special moments. 
That's a long way to say check our new single out, 
"You're the Best Thing About Me," it's kind of like punk Supremes.

What are the common themes that tie the songs on Songs of Experience together?
I try not to talk about William Blake too much because it sounds pretentious quoting such a literary giant 
but it was his great idea I pinched to compare the person we become through experience to the person 
who set out on the journey.
 If you're talking about innocence, you've probably already lost it but I do believe at the far end of experience, 
it's possible to recover it with wisdom. I'm not saying I have much of that but what little I have, 
I wanted to cram into these songs. I know U2 go into every album like it's their last one but even more this time 
I wanted the people around me that I loved to know exactly how I felt. 
So a lot of the songs are kind of letters, letters to Ali, letters to my sons and daughters, actually our sons and daughters.

There's a song called "The Showman" which is a letter to our audience, 
it's kind of about performers and how you shouldn't trust them too much. 
It's about me, haha. There's a funny line, well, I think it's funny anyway, "I lie for a living, 
I love to let on but you make it true when you sing along.?

It's like a Fifties Beatles-in-Hamburg type tune. 
There's a letter to America called "American Soul," Kendrick Lamar used a bit of this for "XXX" on his new album. 
And one that I didn't realize until too late that I was writing to myself, 
"It's the Little Things Give You Away.” 
In all of these advice type songs, you are of course preaching what you need to hear. 
In that sense, they're all written to the singer. 
One other piece on Blake, 
I don't know if I'm explaining too much here but the best songs for me are often arguments with yourself or arguments with some other version of yourself. 
Even singing our song "One," which was half fiction, I've had this ongoing fight. 
In "Little Things," innocence challenges experience: “
I saw you on the stairs, you didn't notice I was there, that's cause you were busy talking at me, not to me. 
You were high above the storm, a hurricane being born but this freedom just might cost you your liberty."

At the end of the song, experience breaks down and admits his deepest fears, having been called out on it by his younger, braver, bolder self. 
That same conversation also opens the album with a song called” 
Love Is All We Have Left.” 
My favorite opening line to a U2 album: 
"There's nothing to stop this being the best day ever.” 
In the second verse, innocence admonishes experience: 
"Now you're at the other end of the telescope, seven billion stars in her eyes, so many stars so many ways of seeing, hey, this is no time not to be alive.” 
It's a chilling moment – in the chorus I was pretending to be 
Frank Sinatra singing on the moon, a sci-fi torch song 
"love, love is all we have left, a baby cries on the doorstep, love is all we have left.”