I have much for which to be grateful, including family, friends, and you, my readers and clients. I also realize that Thanksgiving can be a source of stress for many, especially in a time when opinions seem to differ more than ever and dialogue can be challenging.
Last Friday and Saturday, I participated in a training on peacemaking circles in the Tlingit (First Nations) tradition. I went into it with a healthy dose of skepticism, and emerged with gratitude for being exposed to a very different way of communicating, which can be and is used for anything from dialogue and celebration to restorative justice.
So instead of writing an article, I thought I would share some thoughts from Friday's closing. (These are quotes from Margaret J. Wheatley's “Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future”.)
- There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.
- Ask: “What’s possible?” not “What’s wrong?” Keep asking.
- Notice what you care about. Assume that many others share your dreams.
- Be brave enough to start a conversation that matters.
- Talk to people you know.
- Talk to people you don’t know.
- Talk to people you never talk to.
- Be intrigued by the differences you hear. Expect to be surprised.
- Treasure curiosity more than certainty.
- Acknowledge that everyone is an expert about something.
- Know that creative solutions come from new connections.
- Remember, you don’t fear people whose story you know.
- Real listening always brings people closer together.
- Trust that meaningful conversations can change your world.