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Quiet Talk

123. Quiet Talk

I’m a believer in non-violence and often wonder if I got in a risky situation if I would panic or if I would use some of the tactics that have been shown to work.

My friend, Ben Logan, was leaving New York City a number of years ago. It was 10:30 at night and he went into the subway station and was immediately surrounded by three men who asked for his wallet. He gave it to them, and then started talking quietly and asking if they would give him a dollar so he could make a call. They opened the wallet and gave him a dollar. And meanwhile he suggested that they didn’t really want to keep the VISA card because it was just going to mean more trouble for them, and they handed him that card too.

Quiet talk doesn’t always work but sometimes it can be a start to getting somewhere more peaceful when there’s a problem. Occasionally it just diffuses the whole situation. I wonder if we need to learn some of the things that work so when we need them, they seem like old friends and are easily accessible.

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