Replace The Dreaded Debate with the Adventure of a “Conversation Safari”

Last fall we took an African Safari. Prior to leaving, several friends, raved about their safari experiences, claiming that it was their most epic vacation, and numero uno on a list of several destinations.

When I asked why… One friend said it was because of the animals.

Interesting. I LOVE animals, but I’ve been to the zoo and and wildlife parks. How could simply being in Africa create an epic vacation?

Feeling helpless about the cycle of division and destruction?

Here's what YOU can do.

Feeling helpless about division and destruction? Here's what you can do.

Last night right before I went to bed, I learned about the shooting deaths of 3 more police officers – this time in Baton Rouge. It is heart-breaking and tempting to feel helpless, as angry people continue to destroy lives and rock our world with bombings, shootings, and even trucks.

This time felt even more personal, as I used to live in Baton Rouge and drove and worked where the shooting took place.  And in the time I was there, I fell deeply in love with the people, the city and the state of Louisiana.

I woke early this morning and immediately checked the news for updates and prayed.

A short time later, I was reminded that exactly three years ago today I posted an article about pain and anger as I tried to process the Trevon Martin case.

  • Three more years of conflict.
  • Three more years of finger pointing and blaming.

Clearly – What we’re doing isn’t working, as the conflicts are becoming more frequent and more violent.

Becoming a part of the solution, after Orlando

Becoming part of the solution, after Orlando

As the news about Orlando, and yet another hate crime swirls around us….

What are you seeing? What are you hearing? What are you pondering? What are you praying for?

Typically after events like this I invest major amounts of energy reading the news and contemplating the opinions and the blame game that follows.

Breaking the Cycle of Division – Unity Begins with You!

When my husband said we were asked to move to a giant sandbox on the other side of the world my stomach churned so hard I had to sit down.

How was this possible?  We said we would go ANYWHERE in the world except – THERE!  Scenes from movies and the news melded with my own fears and questions were fired off so rapidly my husband could not reply.

A “yes” wasn’t possible if I could not change my thinking:

  • From the losses to the possible gains.
  • From the challenges to the possible opportunities.
  • From fear to faith.

Benefits of Learning from Those That Think Differently

Real Growth - No Pixie Dust! -Really!

In 1999 I read Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for the first time.  One of the stories in that book that captured my attention was about David Lilienthal, a man that was commissioned to head the new Atomic Energy Commission.

He brought together a very diverse bunch of influential individuals. And although they had a huge agenda and the press was pushing them for results he believed that efficiency was not the first priority – synergy was. So he wisely invested time facilitating relationship building, causing them to deeply understand each other’s history, goals, passions, and perspectives and transforming a group of individuals into a passionate team.

This is how Stephen Covey describes the result: “The respect among the members of the commission was so high that if there was disagreement, instead of opposition and defense, there was a genuine effort to understand.  The attitude was, “If a person of your intelligence and competence and commitment disagrees with me, then there must be something to your disagreement that I don’t understand, and I need to understand it.  You have a perspective, a frame of reference I need to look at.”