Greetings from one of the newest cities in China, Shenzen.
About 30 years ago, this sleepy little fishing village across the bay from vibrant, colonial Hong Kong became the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in China. Like Yantai where we were a couple of weeks ago, China began reaching out to the world here.
Now, almost 12 million people, with an average age of less than 30(!) live, work and play here.
The city vibrates with an effervescent intensity an octave above Yantai. For me, it seems the height of consumptive society, yet with a quality of care for the future inching toward sustainability. Because it is an SEZ, Shenzhen attracts lots of ex-pats and business folks from all around the world. It has an international and cosmopolitan flavor like Shanghai.
The economic output of this single city is about the same as all of Portugal! It’s a place where lots of new businesses spring up, and perhaps that “fertility” will support the growth of NVC here. In my dream of the world, someday there will be at least one trainer per million folks, so this single city may have 12 trainers in the not to distant future. As my mentor Christa Morf says, “We’ll see what happens!”
We’ve just completed a two day workshop with about 35 folks, the first NVC workshop by certified trainers here, as far as I know. When we did a process early on the first day to understand how much previous NVC experience folks had, we discovered that about 70% of the folks had less than a year and some had just learned about NVC days ago. How inspiring to be present for the first baby steps of helping to support an emerging NVC community here!
We offered our 9 skills training coupled with some introductory processes exploring universal Needs and the connection between feelings and needs. The participants eagerly assimilated our offering as fast as we could give it. They seemed content with brief breaks and a leisurely lunch, allowing us lots of time for practice.
Hearing the checkout round this afternoon touched me deeply. It seemed they were taking away deep learning and inspiration to continue their practice. If you are still doing the gratitude practice we encouraged before you left, more than a 100 Chinese folks are now joining us from all of the cities we have visited.
One of the highlights of the training was showing a brief video Jori and I had seen this morning of the leaders of North and South Korea connecting and shaking hands. There is a precious moment in the video that demonstrated the power of an invitation as Kim Jong Un gently encouraged his South Korean counterpart to step over the line into North Korea. Many of the participants seemed to be as touched as we were. I could barely control my emotions as I shared how impactful this moment is for me, how much hope I have in the possibility of peace and denuclearization. What a long distance we seemed to have come since that wild morning in January when we all freaked out about the incoming missile that turned out to be a false alarm!
Tomorrow we facilitate a meeting of volunteers who visit schools in southern China hoping to inspire kids there to dream big, even in the face of a traditional rote-learning strategy still common in many Chinese schools. I wonder what will happen.
We hope all is well with you! We have one more weekend workshop in a few days before heading home for Maui. Until we see you in mid-May, please keep going to Zero, keep refining your intention to connect and enjoy this precious moment.
Link to video: https://youtu.be/i7LXeCTOEuU