These Principles are not comprehensive. They are intended to challenge us to reach beyond our existing beliefs, practices, and fears of being all we can be. We are urged not to settle and conform, but to creatively explore new possibilities and ideals of loving without limit. All things are connected. Let’s love ourselves. Then collectively, what we do in our close relationships can affect what we do in our homes, schools, communities, work, board rooms, bureaucracies, and legislatures. We can help to make things right with the world. As you read, ask yourself, “What would change for me and others if I creatively applied this Principle?”
Note: Clearly, our possibilities are affected by the pandemic. So we do what we can. Please consider these Principles for limited use now, and additional application after the pandemic.
Adapted from the writing of Nancy Kline & Christopher Spence
1. Deep in the heart of many of us, often out of our awareness, is a longing for things to be right for everyone.
2. With a proper environment and support, many unloving attitudes can be changed.
3. Societal change cannot take place without change in individual human beings. Building loving relationships and recognizing the power of love contributes to this change and supports effective action.
4. For people to change, it helps if they feel loved and respected by the people who offer them change. Learning new information, perspectives, and solutions depends on our feeling good about ourselves and the person teaching us.
5. Many human beings long to be loved. Ideally, it helps if we learn and practice to love others, especially infants, without limit.
6. Fear, separation, self-doubt, and misinformation may lead to prejudice and violence and keep some people from loving others. Prejudice and violence may also be related to earlier unmet needs and traumas. Our loving, constructive efforts can begin a mutually appreciated relationship and uncover a person’s potential goodness.
Loving the World to Peace
7. True peace can involve many people including leaders who care about each other too much to agree to kill or mistreat others.
8. Making peace, among other things, can include (a) recognizing and acting on our leadership potential, (b) building relationships and learning about what life is really like for the other, and (c) asking questions calmly of each other and thinking together in an atmosphere of love. Then new solutions good for everyone can emerge.
9. Our love and capacity to think and feel responsively is often blocked by repressed, painful emotions. Support for releasing these emotions is best provided by those who have accomplished it and are trained and experienced in facilitating it for others.
Leadership in Loving the World
10. True leadership can include love in action. This involves reclaiming our inherent individual power connected with deep loving of ourselves and one another.
11. When your message is love, rather than confrontation, divisiveness, or blame, you must recognize that changing the world likely means changing yourself. This is because you cannot fake love. When you lead by loving, you are exposed in every word, gesture, tone, and decision you make.
12. When it is feasible, good leaders try to know and understand those in their group personally.
13. It is the challenge of leadership to inspire people by holding out a limitless vision of what is possible. This includes assisting people to think through next steps in realizing their dreams, and eliminating barriers to their leadership.
14. Leaders helping to create a truly peaceful world can benefit by listening more than they speak and supporting others to improve their listening skills.
15. Good leaders can improve with a regular review of their leadership with the people they lead. This can include a summary of what the leader has done well and where there needs to be change and development. It can also include appreciations and suggestions from each person present about how things can be done differently.