We’ve been back in the U.S. for nearly 6 weeks. Watching the divide we witnessed across the ocean. Aching as it appears to be growing deeper and wider.
I know I’m not alone in my concern for our country or in my desire to be a part of the solution. Several of my leadership connections have been sharing both struggles and wisdom in their blogs.
Alli Polin, Erin Schreyer, Steve Keating and Jesse Lyn Stoner have each written important articles to help us build bridges across that divide.
- Each of the image quotes below highlight something from their articles that I found especially powerful.
- Each of their original articles are linked after each image through their name.
If you are struggling with the current state of our union – I encourage you to:
- Read each one
- Watch the Conversation Safari video at the end of this post
And then make strategic choices to be the change you want to see
I’ve been working with a group of pre and early teens and we’ve been talking about perceptions and reality. In our last meeting, I asked if they have ever greeted someone and not been greeted in return. Emphatically – yes!
So I broke them up into small groups and asked them to come up with a list of at least 15 reasons why someone they greeted would not respond.
At first they listed things like this:
- They hate me
- They are mean
- They are rude
- They are a bully
- They are racist
It took awhile for them to start coming up with reasons like this:
I was raised in a tiny town in rural America with a population less of less than three thousand people. When I was first married, my husband and I met a couple that were raised in the second largest city in the U.S. with a population of almost four million.
The husband had been in street gangs and literally fought for his life.
When he asked what was dangerous in my hometown, he just about busted a gut when I said… “Gossip.”
Words were no threat to someone who had dodged bullets.
It seemed insensitive and pointless to try to argue that King Solomon really knew what he was talking about when he said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.”
When bullets are flying – gossip won’t kill you.
But here’s the thing…
I was recently visiting with someone about the goals of young professionals in a specific location. She said that everyone wants to be a manager.
So I asked why:
- Was it about the title?
- The perceived power?
- The paycheck?
- The perception that it is an easier job?
She said they want to sit behind a big desk and sign things.
Instantly I visualized a “manager” sitting behind a big desk with their feet resting on the desk reading a newspaper. A clap of his hands and someone comes running with a hot beverage. A loud shout results in several people running into his office – varying ages, heights, and ethnicities – all cowering in fear. “Yes Boss…” (True story!)