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Islands of Contempt and Hate – Unless…

Intentional and farsighted communities are committed to people and ideas.  Intentional and farsighted communities create opportunities to converge around geography, diverse ideas, and the full spectrum of races and religions. Intentional and farsighted communities create safe spaces across genders and gender identities.  Such communities respect sexual orientation.  They value wisdom that comes with age and embrace the bold energy of youth.  
So, why the focus on community?  Because today’s news depresses me.  We’re living in a world that more and more isolates ideas and people out of fear. And fear creates islands of contempt and hate – remote and removed, lacking the necessary bridges that lead to empathy.
Communities hold the soul of the collective in trust.  This collective of thoughtful people have the opportunity to work toward a shared belief of equity and inclusion without judgement.  Intentional and farsighted communities demand we navigate through our differences to find connections that bind us rather than distance us.
So how did I get this bee in my bonnet today?  I came off another weekend of reported violence, governments – at all levels – failing to serve the people they’ve promised to protect, and rewarding people who serve their own self-interests at whatever cost.  We’re all feeling the pinch – dissatisfied with what is and not sure what to do about it.
Well – there’s no escaping this – it’s up to US.  We can’t expect others to do what we’re not willing to do ourselves.  Activate or become part of a community of diverse people and ideas.  Get involved.  MOST IMPORTANTLY, stretch yourself.  Find the courage to face your own 

biases – known and yet unknown.  Don’t limit yourself to what is comfortable.  Those days of ignoring what isn’t fun or easy are gone.  
I believe, we’ve lost sight of community. And from the conversations I’ve had with colleagues, family and friends, I’m not the only one.  We’re gonna have to fight hard to find our soul again.  But then, anything worth doing, takes effort.  So what steps might we take?

  • Invite people to dinner you know but who’ve never met each other.  And if you and they are very brave, raise a topic of potential contention – religion, politics, race.
  • Invite others to host salons of diversity and join with them to grow the conversation.
  • Be vulnerable. Work to understand the pain of isolation.  Understanding leads to empathy and compassion.   
  • Join a club. Go to church.  Take a class.  Meet different people.

Just do something!  One person can change a community.  One person can start a community.

Join the conversation.  Share your story and your wisdom.
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