Conversations at a time of darkness about engaging and supporting
the emergence of light.
What’s going on now with the people who voted for Trump? What’s going on with progressives who strongly […]
NY Times Jan 5, 2017
Why Rural Americans Voted for Trump
I’m with you Stan — let’s hang in there! 🙂
interesting article on what Trump is likely a decoy for
On supporting the shift in consciousness necessary for a graceful movement from the age of empire to the planetary era.
Here is the link to Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.
Being American Now — Jan. 15
Conversations at a time of darkness
about engaging and supporting
the emergence of light.
Sunday, January 15, 2017, 5:00 – 6:30 PM Pacific […]
Conversations at a time of darkness about engaging and supporting
the emergence of light.
In the spirit of supporting the emergence of light at this time of darkness, here’s a space for sharing […]
The resolution reads as follows:
WHEREAS, On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected to become the 45th President of the United States; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That no matter the threats made by President-elect Trump, San Francisco will remain a Sanctuary City. We will not turn our back on the men and women from other countries who help make this city great, and who represent over one third of our population. This is the Golden Gate—we build bridges, not walls; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we will never back down on women’s rights, whether in healthcare, the workplace, or any other area threatened by a man who treats women as obstacles to be demeaned or objects to be assaulted. And just as important, we will ensure our young girls grow up with role models who show them they can be or do anything; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That there will be no conversion therapy, no withdrawal of rights in San Francisco. We began hosting gay weddings twelve years ago, and we are not stopping now. And to all the LGBTQ people all over the country who feel scared, bullied, or alone: You matter. You are seen; you are loved; and San Francisco will never stop fighting for you; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we still believe in this nation’s founding principle of religious freedom. We do not ban people for their faith. And the only lists we keep are on invitations to come pray together; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That Black Lives Matter in San Francisco, even if they may not in the White House. And guided by President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, we will continue reforming our police department and rebuilding trust between police and communities of color so all citizens feel safe in their neighborhoods; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That climate change is not a hoax, or a plot by the Chinese. In this city, surrounded by water on three sides, science matters. And we will continue our work on CleanPower, Zero Waste, and everything else we are doing to protect future generations; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we have been providing universal health care in this city for nearly a decade, and if the new administration follows through on its callous promise to revoke health insurance from 20 million people, San Franciscans will be protected; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we are the birthplace of the United Nations, a city made stronger by the thousands of international visitors we welcome every day. We will remain committed to internationalism and to our friends and allies around the world—whether the administration in Washington is or not; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That San Francisco will remain a Transit First city and will continue building Muni and BART systems we can all rely upon, whether this administration follows through on its platform to eliminate federal transit funding or not; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That California is the sixth largest economy in the world. The Bay Area is the innovation capital of the country. We will not be bullied by threats to revoke our federal funding, nor will we sacrifice our values or members of our community for your dollar; and, be it
FURTHER RESOLVED, That we condemn all hate crimes and hate speech perpetrated in this election’s wake. That although the United States will soon have a President who has demonstrated a lack of respect for the values we hold in the highest regard in San Francisco, it cannot change who we are, and it will never change our values. We argue, we campaign, we debate vigorously within San Francisco, but on these points we are 100 percent united. We will fight discrimination and recklessness in all its forms. We are one City. And we will move forward together.
California, at Forefront of Climate Fight,
Won’t back Down to Trump
New York Times, December 26, 2016
President Obama’s January 10, 2017 Farewell Address was an inspiring demonstration of the grace, dignity, character and passionate commitment to the American dream which he embodied as President. His absence from the White House will leave a huge vacuum. His presence among us as what he called America’s most important title, “citizen,” will be a continuing source of strength and inspiration.
Daily Kos, Jan. 12, 2017:
Barbara Lee, Congresswoman from Oakland California, is initiating a Congressional boycott of the Trump inauguration.
Interfaith Spiritual Travelers — Jan. 8
Spiritual travelers from all backgrounds and traditions, sharing experience — seeking wisdom.
Debra Roberts: The Sacred Path of Bees
Debra, thank you for this fascinating OWL circle and for your warm presence. A few questions came up for me.
Would you say a little more about about bees and the Divine Feminine?
What is it like to connect with a collective like a bee community? I get communication with individual animals. I am intrigued with the idea of collective communication.
Any practical suggestions for attracting bees to your garden? Are native plant species absolutely necessary? Again, thank you for your warm and enthusiastic wisdom.
I’m curious about learning if there is any government policy in the U.S. — at the federal, state or local level, aimed at protecting bees. Are you aware of any? Any policies in other countries, or at the U.N.? Thanks. 🙂
This is the poem by Libby Traubman that was mentioned at the circle.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼THE BOY WHO PETS BEES
HE FLOPS ON HIS TUMMY
ON THE DAYS THAT ARE SUNNY AND THE BEES GO ON HUMMING.
HE PRESSES HIS FACE VERY NEAR HE DOESN’T SHOW ANY FEAR AND THE BEES GO ON SINGING.
THEN HE EXTENDS HIS SWEET HAND TO PET HIS NEW FRIENDS
AND THE BEES GO ON BUZZING.
HE FEELS THEIR VIBRATION
A THRILLING NEW SENSATION
AND THE BEES GO ON POLLENATING.
IT’S AMAZING TO SEE
THIS CURIOUS BOY AND HIS BEES
HOW TOGETHER THEY ARE COMMUNING.
THIS BOY LOVES THOSE BEES BUT IT’S MUTUAL YOU SEE
AND THEY BOTH GO ON PLAYING.
WHEN YOU LISTEN AND HEAR EVEN THE BUZZING IS DEAR AND WE ALL GO ON CARING.
About Niko, on your second birthday From Grandma Libby Linn Traubman
The comments here can get emailed to everyone in the group, but the formatting options are limited. No photos. Let’s see how a link works, as an example, for Daily Good: http://www.dailygood.org
I’m testing this out.
We’re starting this OWL group to see if we can use it as both an email list, and for members to post information.
Conversations at a time of darkness about engaging and supporting
the emergence of light.
In the spirit of supporting the emergence of light at this time of darkness, here’s where we as a […]
A friend just sent me a holiday card where her To Do List was marked up with changes such as: Buy Presents changed to Be Present
Wrap gifts becomes Wrap friends in a hug
Send Gifts — send peace
Shop for food — donate food
See the lights — be the light
Mostly, I think using this season as an opportunity to donate in the name of friends and family is a great NEW tradition.
One thing to do: write! Express yourself!
Here’s a poem by Michael Mauldin:
Dr Seuss hangover
On election day we flew coast to coast
enjoying the view we offered a toast
that all the rancor and fuss would soon be done
little did we know what had just begun.
We went early to bed with hardly a care
and woke up in the morn with such a scare.
It seemed unreal it made no sense
a tRump was in charge with a guy named Pence.
We must be dreaming I heard a loud moan
is this what they call “the twilight zone?”
We shouted we cried ‘stop this action’,
but it was no use there was no satisfaction.
It was in the late fall of that terrible year
when people and beasts shed many a tear.
Trees and the plants seemed to stop growing
and all thru the land one heard much groaning.
The birds and the bees where driven to their knees
saying could something be done could there be a reprieve?
Each day went by the bad dream would not end
we realized the world had gone around the bend.
Some hid in their homes cursing their bad luck
while others pissed and muttered “what the fuck.”
Life isn’t fair and sometimes quite mean
now life seemed worth less than a pinto bean.
Time marched on, that cruel master of fate
as all the kingdom wondered what changes to await.
So tRump gave tweets this way and that
which made no sense no matter where you sat.
Yet his words and deeds filled the air with perplex
and the majority wondered what would come next?
From the tower tRump formed his motley court
and told all to “not worry” and words of that sort.
The warmth had left the land all seemed so dire
as pollution got thicker and walls got higher.
All creatures began to wonder with deep chagrin
if the world itself would ever be great again.
Some wait and pray and hope for a new day
while others work hard to change the way,
for there was no joy in just sulking around
to make change happen you need boots on the ground.
Boots on the ground and speak truth to power
there’s no other choice from hour to hour.
There’s more at stake than our one land
the whole world is watching and can’t understand.
To wait for change is not the best plan.
To make change happen will take the whole clan
to push and pull with all our might
to move this ship of state away from the right.
The middle path is surely the way
but it will take great focus day after day.
Take heart and be certain, be not afraid
most people around will join the crusade.
The time for action is upon us now,
we are going to wake up we must somehow.
The future is near don’t make the mistake
of putting off today what steps to take.
But don’t fall for that axiom “us versus them,”
for we all are in this together, the only way to win.
These are some good ideas for people in Blue states. From LA Weekly: 10 ways to fight a Trump presidency in Liberal California.
Social Action Education as Spiritual Practice – Lessons from Standing Rock, by Rabbi Rain Zohav
Every time we take action, we are also educating. If we are lobbying, we are educating our legislators. If we are protesting, we are educating the public and the “powers that be”. And we are educating ourselves in how to be effective and live our values.
In this moment, the Water Protectors at Standing Rock are a strong example of the intertwining of education, action, and spiritual practice. I was privileged to be able to answer the call of Chief Looking Horse for clergy to come to Standing Rock to pray and be in solidarity with the water protectors on Sunday, Dec. 4. This is perhaps the first lesson for allies to any cause: Listen and wait to be invited if you are supporting groups whose oppression you do not share. In the Jewish tradition, our central prayer, the Sh’ma, is all about listening. Listening to the Divine who is One: transcendent, immanent and reflected in the face of every human being.
Before leaving, I read the Seven Lakota Values of the Oceti Sakown camp: Prayer. Respect. Compassion. Honesty. Generosity. Humility. Wisdom. See full explanations of these here.
While at the camp, I tried to keep the principle of being “in a constant state of Prayer and Ceremony” in mind at all times. This is one way to actualize social action as spiritual practice: by bringing a prayerful spirit to your action, creating and participating in ceremony as you go. I experienced this at Oceti Sakowin Camp almost continuously. The sacred fire was kept burning, which reminded me of the ner tamid – the eternal light – that was kept burning in our Temple and is lit above the ark that holds the Torah scrolls in our synagogues.
Living up to communal values is another way to practice social action as a spiritual practice, and the water protectors are embodying their values constantly. Respect, especially for elders, was like nothing I have ever experienced. From the moment I got out of my car, white hair quite visible, people ran to help. They helped us carry the food and water we had brought, they helped me navigate the flowing mud that had melted the ice on the dirt road, they helped me on the snow that was full of sinkholes where we walked, and they helped us back out when it was time to leave. By my second day at the camp, I had learned that I could simply put out my hand and someone would take it on the mud or ice.
This kind of respect, that embodies generosity and compassion, was also evident throughout the camp. There were eight communal kitchens operating; full of food donated by people near and far and kept open for warm(er) communal sleeping places at night. Folks wandered through the camps offering food: apples, protein bars, Latin American sweets all the way from Cleveland. No one took if they didn’t need and those of us who were only there for a short time were asked to give more than we took.
I believe that all of our spiritual traditions, including the secular traditions that motivate so many in social justice movements, emphasize sharing of resources. At Standing Rock, this value was lived.
Humility was also thankfully evident in the interfaith service I took part in while there. All of the allies spoke briefly, giving the Native Americans the vast majority of “air time”. It became apparent that part of our work there was once again to listen, to witness, and to hold the sacred space. This is spiritual social action in practice.
The wisdom of the Native American elders was also evident when they asked us not to march to the bridge, but rather to continue praying and to encircle the camp with our bodies in prayer. And the clergy attempted to do this, although the camp was huge. For several hours we held the space. And then we heard a great shout go up from the area of the sacred fire and went to see what had happened. And we heard the good news that the Army Corp of Engineers had denied the easement.
And we let ourselves rejoice. Another important part of spiritual social action education: celebrating victories, even if only of a momentary win, not the entire agenda. I can’t ever remember in my long history of social action, being at a protest and hearing right then of a win. This is a moment that will stay with me forever in deepest gratitude. The closest feeling might be hearing of a candidate that I supported winning and being at the celebration. Even though we knew that the oil company would not simply give up and go away, we allowed ourselves a moment of joy, tears and prayer.
Standing Rock and the brave people who demonstrated non-violent, spiritually grounded resistance there, are an inspiration, and well remembered as a marker of this moment in history.
I really like this piece by David Abram:
“Dear friends and allies,
Abundant blessings to you all from the holy dark of the year. I am always reluctant to invite back the sun too hastily, since I love to linger in the luscious darkness, in the silence and solitude of the spacious night. So many quiet beings begin to be felt only when the blare and blaze of day slackens for a while, and night extends the soft shadow of its wings over more and more of our waking hours. So… Linger deep, my allies, and enjoy the vast and sheltering expanse of the fruitful darkness! Soon enough, the big work will call us back to our daylit efforts to safeguard civility and compassion as our world slides ever more rapidly toward fearfulness, scapegoating and greed.
For all the dismal signs regarding the year now slowly opening in front of us, there are some beautiful ones as well. Who knows: perhaps the growing untrustworthiness (and blatant dishonesty) of digital media, as well as its susceptibility to hacking and manipulation by malicious operators, along with the overt ugliness of so much of our public discourse as conducted over the airwaves and the digital ether these last several months — will prompt some of us to accord much more effort, attention, and value, to the space of our direct face-to-face and face-to-place engagements with other persons and creatures in the forgotten world of our flesh and blood lives.
To be sure, the collective strife and the shattering losses of the era now upon us has already prompted many persons of good heart to withdraw from the vulnerability of direct, bodily experience — to abandon their creaturely senses and to spend more and more time in electronically mediated and virtual spaces. Yet I’m convinced that it’s only by honing our rapport with the ground underfoot that we can replenish and strengthen our humanity. Only by expanding our felt solidarity with the other bodies that surround — with other humans in their anguish (and sometimes their joy), but also with the other animals striving to go about their lives in a suddenly warming world, with the dwindling forests and the surging rivers and the breathing earth itself — only thus can we really ease and transform, in a lasting way, the intensifying social fractures and the fear-driven meanness of this time. For it seems to me that we are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.”
Another good reminder to care for ALL life around us.
This is a list from Bill Moyer.com of reputable investigative news outlets.
Daily Liberty Bell Meditation http://www.wiseusa.net/
An interesting website with lots of opportunities for action:
JOIN US IN FRONT OF A.C.T. JAN 19th at 5:30PM
TAKE A PLEDGE TO STAND AND PROTECT THE VALUES OF INCLUSION
On January 19th, 2017 at 5:30PM in each time zone across the country, inspired by the tradition of leaving a “ghost light” on in a darkened theater, artists and communities – and all of us at PF – will gather outside theaters to creae a “light ” for dark times ahead, and to make or renew a pladge to stand and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone, regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Please join us!
In San Francisco, we’ll gather outside A.C.T.’s Geary Theater at 5:15pm for a 5:30pm start on the eve of the Presidential Inauguration.
RSVP FOR THE EVENT HERE
January 19th is a moment of gathering within a larger resistance to intolerance at all levels. We aim to create brave spaces that will serve as lights in the coming years. We aim to activate a network of people across the country working to support vulnerable communities.
Tell us who you are and what you fight for!
DOWNLOAD THE SIGN HERE
Share your sign on social media using
#ghostlightproject #allarewelcome and #bealight
Ana here’s the Facebook event to share:
Playwrights Foundation uses Vendini for ticketing, marketing, and box office management.
Playwrights Foundation – 1616 16th st, Ste 350, San Francisco, CA, 94103, (415) 626-2176
Vendini, Inc. – 660 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94104, 1 (800) 901-7173
View as a web page.
From our local Nextdoor listings:
Roberta Gelt, The Coastside
For those of you who want to DO something to help, please join a group started by Andy Lyshorn in Montara
which she titled “love and Kindness Movement”. We have met twice now and the third meeting is scheduled for Jan.22nd. For more information you can go to the NextDoor thread called “Love and Kindness”.
We are starting to gather thoughts and ideas about what we can do beyond symbolic gestures. We have representatives of each group that feels targeted post-election: Latinos, women, LGBT, Muslims. Join us!
Original post by Emily Glines from The Coastside (78 replies):
Documented or not racial profiling can make our neighbors feel fearful. How can I let them know I’m with you. One suggestion I heard today was to wear a “safety pin”. I plan to wear a large one….
Nov 13 in General to 16 neighborhoods
Thanks Stan! Looks good — very practical and focused.
Being American Now — Dec. 18
A conversation at a time of darkness
about engaging and supporting
the emergence of light.
Sunday, December 18, 2016, 5:00 – 6:30 PM Pacific […]
For me, the purpose is:
Conversation at a time of darkness about engaging and supporting the emergence of light.
Thank you Aryae, yes, engaing light in the mist of darknes will definitely illuminate the Earth 🙂
Also — I take your point about the acronym. Any ideas on an alternative?
Reflections on the conversation
My main takeaway was the spectrum of how we each responded to the seed question:
Gandhi said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” How do we relate to his words at this moment in American history?
It seemed that we all shared the feeling that what is needed now from each of us has both an inner, spiritual component, and an outer, action component. What’s most fascinating to me are the different ways that each of us, coming from different backgrounds and experience, are currently focusing our energies along that spectrum. It seems that we all have something to learn from each other. And for me, that’s what this group is all about.
November 27 Being American Now Circle
Reflecting on what it means to each of us to be American now, and our choices for action going forward.
Our First Meeting
Sunday, November 27, 2016, […]
My ancestors are from Poland/Russia. I grew up in the US, aware that the generation of my parents and grandparents had experienced great challenges, and near extinction during the Hitler era.
As a child I felt somewhat less “American” than my Christian friends. I had experiences, as a Jew, that made me feel vulnerable to attack, verbal or physical.
At the same time, I am proud of so much Americans have achieved and equally appalled at the way we have let our financial interests rule our behavior at home and around the world.
Donald Trump, as President, is such an unknown and possibly a great threat to anyone who is not of White European background.
I fear more for others than I do for myself, but still, I am afraid.
I am eager to do what I can to contribute not to the fear or hatred, but to the possibility of communities uniting and helping one another to be safe and secure.
Thanks Nancy. I appreciate you joining me in sharing your story. 🙂
USA & me
My grandparents came to the U.S. in the early 1900s as Jews fleeing oppression in Eastern Europe. They were teenagers. I can imagine the tears in their eyes when they first saw the Statue of Liberty and someone translated the words: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.”
For them, America was the land of opportunity where people who worked hard could make their dreams come true. They loved America with passionate fierceness. It was okay to question the rabbi and the synagogue and even God, but it was not okay to question the goodness, or show any disloyalty to, the United States of America.
My parent’s generation were teenagers during the Depression and most of them didn’t have the chance to go to college. When World War II came, the men rushed to enlist to defeat Hitler and keep the world safe for democracy. One of my uncles died in the Battle of the Bulge, one flew bombing missions in the Pacific and came home safe, and my father, who couldn’t enlist because of a heart murmur, worked in Brooklyn Naval Shipyard building battleships.
In the 1950s my parents generation started small businesses. My generation — my brothers and cousins and I — grew up in relative prosperity in houses with lawns and gardens in the suburbs. Our job was to be the first generation to go to college and enter lucrative professions.
In the 1960s I dropped out of college and joined the youth rebellion against American materialism, racial injustice, and militarism. I became an activist in the civil rights and anti-war movements, and a Conscientious Objector, refusing to go fight in Vietnam. My parents, aunts and uncles were horrified and mystified. How could I and my friends show such disloyalty to the country that had been so good to us?
Over the past 40 years as an adult, husband and father, small business owner, and now as a grandfather and social innovator in global communities, my relationship with my country has been mixed.
On the one hand, I’m appalled at the many mistakes the U.S. has made in recent decades — at the wars and injustice committed in our name, at the inequality, erosion of democracy, and destruction of our planet.
On the other hand, we’ve shown ourselves capable of doing a better job of living up to our democratic values in areas such as race, gender, marriage equality — and of game-changing innovation and creativity in science, technology, and the arts. And my connection to the American dream has deep roots going back to my grandparents.
Can America ever again give us the hope of living up to that dream — as a land of opportunity, freedom and democracy, with liberty and justice for all?
The election of Trump as President of the United States is appalling to me beyond belief. I’ve been in mourning for the country I thought I was living in. The American dream morphing into the American nightmare.
I’ve gone through denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and am now moving into acceptance. The world is what it is, whether I like it or not, so what do I do now?
Together with all the bad news, I’m noticing a growing tide of good news. Social activists everywhere, from school children to elders, from churches to synagogues to mosques to temples, from east coast to west coast, from north to south, standing up to make their voices heard, to act, — pushing against hatred with love. I believe we’re seeing the early rumblings of what may become the greatest and most transformational social movement for good in the U.S. since the 1960s.
200 years ago the great Jewish mystic, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, taught that, with God’s light scattered throughout the universe, the brightest sparks of that light are hidden in the places of greatest darkness. And that it’s our job as humans to go into those dark places and connect with that light, lift it up, and bring it home.
I believe that this dark time offers each of us — each in our own way — the opportunity to do this holy work. And that by connecting and supporting each other we can strengthen the incoming tide of transformation in ourselves, our country, and throughout the world.
My prayer is that this little circle of ours will contribute.
Thank you for your kind words Debra. Grateful to have you with us.
I loved everything about “America” when I came to this country a bit over 12 years ago, although all I knew about this country was through Hollywood movies, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut. Though 12 years may not be long enough for me to feel 100% American, whatever that means, this country is where I feel encouraged to be true to myself, and where I’ve met more noble souls than anywhere else in the world. But I’ve always felt that there are two opposite forces running in this country, bringing out either the best or the worst from us.
After I’d left the so-called conventional path of pursuing the “American Dream” for six years, I began to feel that the collective New consciousness was arising and it would save us from our very own greed and fear when Trump was elected. At first, it felt like an insult which caught me off guard. Then I felt maybe it’s a sign to really work on our shadow together. Rather than continuing to pretend everything is/will be OK under Hilary, this election brought us down to the abyss that we can not avoid the dark side in our collective conscious. As some say, it’s not that things are getting worse, they just got exposed. We can no longer suppress what’s underneath the rug anymore.
Living in the US with a different worldview from Trump means we will face a lot of challenges. For the long haul, it’s a good thing. I actually began to look more straight into my own dark side which is suppressed by my “goodness.” What’s more encouraging is that now more and more are stepping up to serve and to be change agents, as can feel from the movement in Standing Rock.
And importantly, we need new strategies to cope with the new situation.
Thank you Xiao. I love learning about your “American dream” story. And I love your perspective about how looking into our own as well as the collective “dark side” offers us the opportunity to step up to serve and be change agents.
I just read an article that I found very clear and worth reading. Here are the key points:
By Charles Einstein
We are entering a space between stories. After various retrograde versions of a new story rise and fall and we enter a period of true unknowing, an authentic next story will emerge. What would it take for it to embody love, compassion, and interbeing? I see its lineaments in those marginal structures and practices that we call holistic, alternative, regenerative, and restorative. All of them source from empathy, the result of the compassionate inquiry: What is it like to be you? By Charles Einstein
It is time now to bring this question and the empathy it arouses into our political discourse as a new animating force. If you are appalled at the election outcome and feel the call of hate, perhaps try asking yourself, “What is it like to be a Trump supporter?” Ask it not with a patronizing condescension, but for real, looking underneath the caricature of misogynist and bigot to find the real person.
Even if the person you face IS a misogynist or bigot, ask, “Is this who they are, really?” Ask what confluence of circumstances, social, economic, and biographical, may have brought them there. You may still not know how to engage them, but at least you will not be on the warpath automatically. We hate what we fear, and we fear what we do not know. So let’s stop making our opponents invisible behind a caricature of evil.
We have entertained teachings like these long enough in our spiritual retreats, meditations, and prayers. Can we take them now into the political world and create an eye of compassion inside the political hate vortex?
I am from England living in Peru so I will first say I feel uncomfortable writing my thoughts here, but I believe in leaning into discomfort because this is where we find our opportunities to grow. I have travelled all over the US and spent a lot of time in the Bay area as I have been involved in helping high tech start-ups launch networking and security technologies for over 20 years, I have many colleagues and friends in the US. I have found the Americans to be generous and friendly people, I have found the people in all countries in all the world to be the same and I am lucky to have travelled all over, Far East, Middle East, Africa the Americas and Europe. I found people accepting if you approach with an open heart, different opinions do not have to build walls between us.
I remember just last year meeting a bunch of Rednecks in a fishing lodge on the Gulf of Mexico in a tiny town called Perry in Florida, I had booked this thing on-line and when we rolled into town we nearly turned around and left, the town was a bit run down and really did not look like the sort of place to spend a couple of days, when we turned up at the lodge we really were out of our comfort zone. A bunch of self proclaimed red necks got back from their fishing trip and invited us to join them for beer and bbq, these guys held the complete opposite views on just about everything to us yet we had a fabulous time with them, though none of them had ever left America they were genuinely interested in my different view of the world. The story of my trips through the middle east was interesting for them, one of the guys shared with me that before he has spoken to me his view on the middle east was that the US should “Glass the fu**ers” (as in nuke them), his mind was changed.
I shared my stories with humility and an open heart to hear their view points some places we met others we disagreed and minds and hearts were changed, I am still in occasional contact with a few of them.
My view on what is going on at present is changed after the initial shock. Hillary was not a good candidate and nor was Trump, there needs to be a change in the way American politics happens and that only comes from the people so it is up to you, do not think anyone else is going to do it the media, politicians and business will continue to screw the planet and you. Like Araye I believe that this could be the siren call for a true public uprising for change for the better, if it is fuelled with love and understanding and not hate and denial it could just be the change the planet needed and set and example to the rest of the world.
As the saying goes be the change you want to see.
Thank you, Matt, for moving beyond your comfort zone and posting here. Just like in your story above, there is such value in reaching out and sharing stories even when it feels uncomfortable at first.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I reminds me of how important relationships are. For me that is what makes a place feel like “home”.
I really connect with your story, thank you for sharing
that is a great story thanks for sharing and for being brave and pushing your boundaries – NAMASTE
Nov. 28 Global Gender Partnership Circle
Women and men in global partnership for the empowerment of women
Conveners: Bonita Banducci & Aryae Coopersmith
Women’s Leadership After the U.S. […]
November 15, 2016
There are 20 people who have signed up for this circle, with room for five more. We’d love you to join if you’re interested. (see below)
To sign up, please go […]
September 25 OWL Global Wisdom Circle: Sonya Shah
A monthly video-circle for sharing wisdom, experience and support among global citizens everywhere.
Justice that Heals
How can we each, in our […]
From Sonya: There is a documentary people might be interested in, called Hollow Water, about a native community in Manitoba, Canada that worked internally in their community to interrupt child sexual abuse using a restorative process. Just wanted people to know about that. Also— to the nature of the conversation I think its easy to be kind, generous, open and practice peacemaking when those around us are, but we’re really tested when what is around us is aggressive. I think its around that aggression that we get to look internally to see what internal work have we really done on our own thoughts, reactions.
From Len: PRE-DECIDING ABOUT VIOLENCE http://traubman.igc.org/pre-decidingaboutviolence.pdf
8. Sonia: Reflections on what was said
9. Closing check-ins
7. Marty Gross, Claudia Miller, Andy Peri
6. Usman Mohammed M. Inuwa, Wendy Berk, Len Traubman, Aryae, Offuh James Offuh
5. Question: How do I experience violence in my context and respond from the heart? Nancy Margulies, Rabbi Diane Elliot, Libby Traubman, Hema Sarang-Sieminski
4. Sonya: Working with men in prison
3. “Through-line” of her restorative justice work
2. Sonya Shah: Introduction, “Last Girl in the Village”
You’re welcome! And thank you again Sonya!
1. Opening check-ins
September 26 Global Gender Partnership Circle
Women and men in global partnership for the empowerment of women
Convener: Bonita Banducci
This monthly circle grew out of an OWL Global Wisdom […]
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