The time is now
(except from Talking Together- January 24, 2017)
The time to stop talking about how awful things are and how much worse things will be if we don’t stop the mean- spiritedness that is rampant in our world and learn how to talk and work together. I’ve waited patiently on phone lines for talk shows like On Point and Here and Now, I’ve written letters to heads of non-profits and for-profits, and I’m saying it here as clearly as I can say it.
We are inspired. We are motivated. We are fearful and angry. And in order to translate our motivation and inspiration, our fear and our anger into action, we have to know how to move forward. There are hopeful programs inviting us to step out of our comfort zones and meet new people, especially those who are different than we are. Inspirational and hard-working leaders thankfully continue this courageous work. And yet, it is easy to become discouraged in our daily lives, and wonder if the problems are too huge and overwhelming to be solved.
We cannot live in the rarified environment of the most inspirational meetings. We have to take the thoughts and feelings of those moments, the slogans that compel us, the hope in our hearts and incorporate it all into the daily encounters in the check out line at the grocery store, the car pool line, the casual meeting on the street corner.
The good news is that there is a way to learn how to have not only the big conversations on controversial issues without killing each other. There is a way to change the way we approach other human beings whenever and wherever we encounter each other. It is a way that has been taught and can be taught. We call it Talking Together.