The essence of the challenge

Yea, so how do we go about connecting without feeling like we have to join up?

Or putting ourselves out there without the backup of a tribe?

Jennifer Smith and I have been kinda dancin’ ‘round something sorta like this question. We each have our own strong beliefs and opinions. We’ve reacted similarly to some strong expressions of others. Like you Ben, Jennifer has taken some pains to respond to people critical of something she’s written. There’s so much earnestness (from many) and sheer expressions of separation from others.

Amy Stephen, hello. I haven’t read the journey piece you wrote (apologies, I may if we carry on), I only have Ben’s recap and the comments/questions you posed to him. Based on that, you’re unlikely to find me someone you’d choose to align with. Funny — I suspected the same about Graham Anderson a few weeks ago, yet we wound up having a long conversation in which we sorted out that our aims in using Medium are quite different (and perhaps our politics as well, but not necessarily) but we were friendly and I found myself liking the guy (at least as far as his public presentation of self goes!)

Anyway, point being that it would be quite alright with me to find myself liking you too, but we’re starting from a difficult place… Ben and I know each other from an online event he facilitated a year ago (Jan 2015) that I participated in. It had been years (I realized after the fact), seriously years since I had been in such a process with a group composed nearly exclusively of white people. I hadn’t even noticed, somehow, that my field of work (sign language interpreting) and course of graduate study (communication) had wound up with me being immersed, daily, in interactions with people raised in different cultures.

Anyway, I joined this online thingie Ben was facilitating and was appalled (honest, my reaction was visceral) at the way “culture” jumped out at me. This put me into a somewhat antagonistic relationship with the group. Ben managed my “difference” well, which gave me hope that there may be openings for real difference to become something we can learn how to allow to just be — without insisting things have to be this way or that, or any particular perspective is better than another. Where the weight of moral judgment or sense of moral superiority isn’t the point.

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exploring the resilience factor in human systems

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