Nuclear Security Summit, Anyone?
Good Morning, The Netherlands!
My friend in The Hague came out of her very own house a few days ago with the dog and bumped into a few armed policeman walking down her street. The policemen were in full uniform, carrying huge billy clubs, and presumably wearing bullet proof vests.
In case you hadn’t heard, the 3rd Nuclear Security Summit happened March 24 and 25, 2014, in fact IN her neighborhood. For two days, 53 heads of States plus 5000 other delegates (folks of official status, reporters, etc.) and a 3000 person police force were pretty much right outside her front door.
Can you imagine seeing barricades out your front door?
Obama arrived on Sunday the 23rd and stayed in a hotel on the sea a little north of her. His hotel apparently also housed President Xi Jinping of China.
Preparing the Residents
For weeks ahead of time, the folks in all of The Hague and into the Amsterdam area were encouraged to work from home on March 24 and 25. They were instructed to use public transportation or bicycle. But even with all these pre-warnings, for about a week, residents were gradually unable to move freely about their daily activities because of the growing number of barricades. Some schools were closed because families literally couldn’t get to their children’s schools.
My friend commented, “Outside on the beach are some (how many is that?) anti air missile defense weapons. I suppose they travel with Obama wherever he goes. Mmmm… To the residents of Noordwijk, where he’s staying, it’s a bit creepy.”
She continued: “No one is talking about the fear all of this is generating. How is it possible to have this many armed policemen within a one square kilometer area, sharp shooters on top of buildings, and helicopters hoovering over our houses and not feel, well, fearful?”
Which Got Me Thinking….
Take my hand for a moment here. Walk with me for a little while into our relationships with each other, especially our intimate relationships.
Question: What do you do in your intimate relationship that is intended to create security, but backfires?
Were the residents of The Hague consulted in advance about the overwhelming presence of security forces swarming their city, barricades everywhere making it difficult to get anywhere? No, they weren’t consulted. They simply had to adjust to it, deal with it, get over it, plan around it.
We do this in intimate relationships. Some of us operate like the 3rd Nuclear Summit planning team. We decide what’s going to happen, and proceed as if everyone else should cooperate without question. It’s our way or the highway. Of course she will do what I want. Of course he’ll do what I want.
A Place To Start
Instead of railroading…
What if this problem-about-a-difference could cause IMPROVEMENT in your relationship? Deepen it? Make it more fun to be together? Put the sparkle in your eyes and the spring in your step? Amaze you?
If the two of you want different things, then put your powerful brains and hearts together to come up with a solution that honors both of you. This requires some super duper creative thinking!
When there is compromise or settling, nobody really wins. Both people simply slink away, heads a tiny bit lower, hearts collapsed ever so slightly, because nobody got what they really wanted.
Or, behind unhappy door number two — one person is all the way right and the other is dismissed. One person got railroaded.
Heck No. Instead, Say Yes to Something That Enlivens Both Of You.
First, figure out the essence of what you’re asking for, and let that send you in the direction of a better creative solution than either one of you would ever think of on your own. In the end, you both feel that you got the best deal.
Here’s a really, really simple example. A husband and wife are repainting a room. One wants the room painted medium blue. The other wants the room to be really fresh looking, with light or very pale colors. So they end up painting the room white, and fill the room with blue accents. It works for both of them.
Another example? The man likes to travel. The woman likes to be at home every night. So they buy an RV, they travel all over the US, and it works for both of them, ’cause she gets to be home and he gets to travel.
How can the two of you together break out of your own individual boxes, and inspire your inner bluebirds of happiness to create a solution that neither of you would have thought of all by yourself?
Ah, now that’s better!