Points of Unity ~ V

*Escort interactions with anti-choice protesters should be purposeful, focused and calm.

How can we be purposeful, focused, and calm in the middle of that chaos? In a situation that feels threatening? When the tension is heavy in the air and emotions are right on the edge?

Many of us can’t. Generally, we choose to disengage from interactions wit the protesters instead. Last Saturday, “the preacher,” up on his step-stool in front of the clinic, was proclaiming:

I HAVE LEARNED – THAT THERE IS NO POINT – IN ARGUING WITH – AN EVOLUTIONISTIC-ATHEIST.”

I’m nodding in agreement. He is absolutely right on that. The he adds:

TO TRY TO ARGUE – WITH THESE PEOPLE – IS TOMFOOLERY!

Which cracks me up ~ what a great word “tomfoolery” is! And I still think he’s absolutely right, in his own, slightly askew way. It is pointless for both sides.

{Evolutionistic-atheist is another great word, isn’t?  I’m not actually an atheist, but it’s a creative word, I think.}

Anyhow, tomfoolery aside, for most of us, the best choice is to disengage. Not talk to the protesters at all.

If we’re friendly with them, it encourages them. It gives them hope that they can “save us.” That’s not really helpful.

If we get angry and yell at them, it escalates the conflict. We don’t want to do that. That’s not helpful.

And if we make snarky comments under our breath, (my personal temptation) they hear us. And that makes them angry. They say mean things back. That increases the tension. Ultimately, that escalates the conflict too.

So we disengage. They don’t much like that either, but it helps me stay calm.  I feel like I’m doing my part in avoiding conflict.

Sometimes we fall short of the goal of de-escalation.   Sometimes, we get sucked into talking to them, sometimes, we have to remind each other to back away, sometimes it’s really hard. But we’ve discovered that for most of us, disengagement is the way to go.

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There are lots of other aspects to de-escalation ~ other escorts are invited and welcome to add their opinions, thoughts and expertise here.

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