Quadrants

Purpose:
To share and learn from one another about different perspectives in defining behaviors and judging whether the behaviors are OK.

Procedure:
1. On the floor using painters tape, layout a “y” axis of “OK” and “Not OK.” Use folded pieces of cover stock paper or cardboard with the appropriate word written on each.

2. Layout an “x” axis of opposite terms (e.g. “nonviolent” and “violent”). Use folded pieces of cover stock paper or cardboard with the appropriate word written on each.

3. Explain the quadrants to the participants. For example, “Quadrant one (upper left hand corner) signifies a behavior you judge as Violent, and OK. Quadrant two (upper right hand corner) signifies a behavior you judge as Nonviolent and OK. Quadrant three (lower left hand corner) signifies a behavior you judge as Violent and Not OK. Quadrant four (lower right hand corner) signifies a behavior you judge as Nonviolent and Not OK.”
Say, “I will now briefly describe a situation to you, and you are to move to the
quadrant which reflects your judgement. I will then ask for brief explanations for the
choices of the participants. After the brief explanations, I will present you with
another situation. The information I give you for each situation is the only information
I will give. You have to make your decision on the information presented.”

4. Observe and comment on patterns and contradictions. For example, if most of the group consistently defines violence as strictly physical, or if many participants consider hunting violent and not OK, but killing in war as violent and OK. Do not make judgments. Merely share your observations. Allow the participants to respond.

5. After you have received brief explanations for the choices made in the last situation, ask for general comments or questions about feelings or observations. If none, ask questions, such as the following. “What did you learn about yourself?” “What did you learn about others?” “What did you learn about this group?” “What will this group need to do to find unity in the midst of the tensions created along the axis lines?” “How will you engage in conflict with each other and continue to work together in strong relationship?”

Possible Situations: Select or develop examples that meet the needs of the participants and the goals of the workshop.
1. Picking up and holding a crying baby.
2. Hitting a crying baby. (These first two are here for “calibrating” participants’ understanding of the axis quadrants.
2. Calling someone a racist, sexist, homophobic bigot.
3. Calling someone’s behavior racist, sexist, homophobic, or bigoted.
4. Killing an animal for food.
5. Killing an animal for sport.
6. Killing “an enemy” in combat.
7. Throwing a tear gas canister back to a police line after it has been fired at you.
8. Using fence cutters to break through a fence to gain access to a munitions factory property.
9. Organizing a boycott of a store that sells merchandise by children who are paid starvation wages.
10. Shouting down a klansman who is speaking on a street corner.
11. Occupying a legislator’s office.
12. Physically restraining persons who appear to be about to hurt themselves or others.
13. Trespassing to block a bulldozer from pushing over an ancient tree.
14. Defending a loved one from attack by hitting the attacker.
15. Defending yourself from rape by hitting your attacker.
16. Spilling your blood on a blueprint of a missile design.
17. Breaking a sensing device on a jet bomber.

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