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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Holding Each Other

Conversation from the Heart

The moment we cease to hold each other, the moment we break faith with one another, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.”
James Baldwin

We humans need to create safe spaces where we can learn to live together in harmony. You may call that a foolish notion, but it is not. It is a life-or-death choice to be made by each of us individually, and all of us collectively. We may not be able to effect happenings on a grand scale, but we can most certainly effect them on a small scale. If we want our world to be different, we must hold one another and not break faith.

There are programs doing this, of course. Youth Lead is one that brings together young people of different backgrounds and, over the course of a year, facilitates their leaning and understanding of divergent cultures and values. A World of Difference Institute is another such program that encourages and coordinates diversity education and understanding. But, we don't have to enroll in a program to bring about change in our communities. We can simply be open to having civil conversation with people who hold different views, and commit to listening with the goal of understanding and not with the goal of debating.

Like any other living thing, the human spirit needs care and tending. We need the nourishment of communities in which people speak and listen from the heart. We need circles of respect, in which one's authentic self can safely show up, and honor both its own life experience and that of others. We need the essential soul food of conversations that acknowledge, assist, support and encourage both ourselves and others. We don't have to join a “cause” if we don't choose to. We can simply begin with an invitation to have a heart-felt conversation. Genuine relationship is the glue that holds us together and keeps our light from going out.

                                                          In the Spirit,

                                                              Jane

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