Reasons for HOPE: Beyond the Great Divides that Separate Us

In business, families, faith-based organizations and communities I’ve continuously witnessed the power of these words:

Together WE STAND. Divided WE FALL.

Prior to moving to Saudi Arabia, my focus on divisive current events was growing. …As was my determination to find ways to bring people together to find solutions.

So I began sharing this dream with others:Think about issues that divide us

In Saudi, my neighbors were from more than 50 nations.   In living rooms and coffee shops we began to move from surface level conversations to in depth discussions. Which ultimately led to the creation of Conversation Safari’s.  Attendees courageously engaged in deep discussions with people from culturally and historically opposing perspectives. And left feeling accepted, listened to, intellectually stimulated, energized, and hopeful.

Since returning to America the divides in our nation are being emphasized so often that we rarely hear anything positive. As a result, I often hear people expressing their concern about the division and their lack of hope for our future.

If you are feeling a lack of hope, this post is to encourage you.

I do have hope because more and more people are turning difficult topics into productive discussions. Besides those women in Saudi, my friends and family here, and the groups I’ve been speaking to since my return – Below are a few recent examples of people that are making this a priority:

  1.  Friends with polar opposite political views and what they did about it  
  2. How a move from a red state to a blue state challenged comfort zones and perceptions
  3. Activists on opposing sides – That made an uncommon choice and realized that what they have in common is greater than what separates them.  
  4. A group that seeks to do something similar to a Conversation Safari over dinner.

Now it’s up to you.

  1. You can fret and worry about where our world is headed
  2. Or you can be the change you’d like to see

To learn more about how you can host a Bridge Building Retreat or a Conversation Safari contact Chery:

Chery Gegelman, Speaker & Facilitator

Please let me know what YOU decide to do!  


President, Giana Consulting

Chery Gegelman is an adventurer that loves to learn. ...Deep conversations, books, travel, and daily living are all food for growth.

As a speaker, facilitator and workshop leader she creates energizing environments that reflect God's grace, tear down walls, help people to consider new perspectives, and inspire change.

Chery is the Founder of Giana Consulting and Conversation Safari's, listed as a Great Leadership Speaker by Inc., writes a recognized leadership blog and has co-authored two leadership books.

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2 thoughts on “Reasons for HOPE: Beyond the Great Divides that Separate Us

  1. This is such an important post Chery! Hope is so critical when we feel isolated or not able to bring people with opposing views together. I am grappling with these issues in my community and even just connecting with people in stores and on the streets.

    I love your idea of Safari Conversations! Listening is key. Maybe people will disagree but at least we can try to keep our human connections with one another.

    Thanks Chery and will share today!

    • Terri – I had hired a photographer to come to one of our Conversation Safari Discussions. At the last minute she had to cancel. So I called another photographer that I had just met and she came. Halfway through the event she had tears in her eyes, and said that she had felt so alone. And now, by simply being in the room and hearing only pieces of the discussions, and feeling the energy and love in the room she had hope.

      Thank you for your comments and for your desire to find ways to connect right where you are. Big hugs to you!