Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jim French: Opening Show Commentary

Jim French
(With comments and editing by Anastasia)

Jim: New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” went on the air waves for the first time on the evening of December 20. We used the capability of Blog Talk Radio to achieve this amazing counterpart to the all-too familiar broadcast talk radio that permeates the audio atmosphere. Sometimes it seems that there is more of that than anything really stimulating.

Our first show ran for just 30 minutes; actually that's the maximum period for a free subscription. That will be our limit until we have funding for a more ambitious program. This first program included our host, Anastasia, plus Jim French, a long-time participant in other activities of the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project, and his friend, Dana French, a former Naval office and organization consultant.
The three of us discussed a variety of aspects of how, we as citizens of the United States, can move beyond our present, highly negative polarization circumstances. Respecting the instructions that Anastasia requested as entrĂ©e to the dialogue, Dana and myself, came prepared to use Anastasia’s Overcoming Polarization address as a jumping off point for discussion.

I viewed the three of us, throughout the broadcast radio show portion of our evening, as moving in the direction of the show’s first theme, “Beyond Polarization,” by examining the question "What causes polarization in the first place?"
Anastasia: I found this notion of Jim’s as to what our broadcast show portion was centered on to be  surprising  when first I read it. I experienced us as, right from the start, exploring solutions to our current day problems of polarization. Not immersed and rehashing the problems. Most significant to me was my experience of seeing how much of an environment for moving “beyond polarization” was being created by Jim and Dana joining with me during our show in this pursuit.

Once again, I was enlightened by the ways in which Jim approaches “what’s happening here” so differently from my own spontaneous viewpoints. Yet both of us are seeing, whatever is our shared focus of the moment, viable angles of the completed picture; a realization for me, again, of how much we all have to learn from taking the time to really listen to what one another has to say.
Jim: Although we didn't reach any firm conclusions, Anastasia picked up on two main points from the broadcast portion as worthy of further exploration. The first offered by myself as the lead-off panelist: (1) the idea that everyone has two poles inside of him or her that may be fighting with each other a lot of the time; the dominant one influences the general approach to contemporary issues. The second presented by Dana: (2) the idea that the process of learning in life follows a spiral pattern and some
people happen to stop at various points along the path, but not continue on to the highest level.

After the actual internet broadcast, which is archived and available for anyone interested in hearing it, we continued our discussion by means of a regular conference call. I had hoped that many folks would join us for this portion and was, thus, disappointed that were only a handful because I believe that more people joining in makes for less complication in a discussion of this nature. Nonetheless those of us who did participate had a lively, engaging, ongoing dialogue for 90 minutes.

Unfortunately that is not in any archive. However, I know that we will be able to pick up the thread of that
dialogue at our next opportunity on December 27."

Anastasia: The conference call -in portion of our show was so rich. I do wish we did have recorded it. I would like to hear it again and again; pregnant, as it was, with possible solutions beyond polarization. I look forward to our continued, newly developing, radio show as having the genuine potential for being of service to our various communities in an expanding effort to move “Beyond Polarization” as possible humans building a possible society.
Along the lines of, collectively, building a bountiful future, I hope our listeners will think to support the efforts of this show, our Possible Human, Possible Society Study and the various programs of the New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project by writing out one of your last checks of 2012 as a tax-deductible donation to our non-profit organization, New Horizons Support Network, Inc,.

A donation form and details as to where to send your contributions are posted on this link.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Possible Society In Motion: Next Show Announced

Move on forward with ---

Small "Zones of Peace" Radio
The Possible Society In Motion Show

Topic: Beyond Polarization: Exploring The Polarization Within
Co-host: Jim French

Thursday, December 27, 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Note: Program presented in 2 parts

Part 1: 6:30, Anastasia and Jim “explore the polarization within.”
 (on Blog Talk Radio)
Part 2: 7 to 8:30 pm, Anastasia and Jim invite audience participation
(via conference call)

(To join in with our discussion,  read Anastasia’s“Overcoming Polarization” address, the foundation for this show’s conversation.)

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Possible Society In Motion Opening Show

Anastasia’s Commentary

Our first “Possible Society In Motion show was a wonderful experience, achieving just what I was aiming for; true, high minded, “beyond polarization” dialogue. Again, I must repeat, so much to say, so little time, especially today on the eve of Christmas with snow falling, fast and furious, outside my window and a winter advisory in effect.

Nonetheless, a few comments are in order before the next important happening, Christmas Eve, really takes hold. We will, then, keep doing our best, here, to comment with the hope that this new adventure; our “Possible Society In Motion Show,” will soon be enticing you to experience it for yourself. (Next scheduled show announcement for Thursday, December 27, 6:30 pm, forthcoming.)

My panelists, JimFrench and Dana French (unrelated) did this opening show the justice it deserved. They did their homework, as I requested; reviewing my Overcoming Polarizationaddress, prepared to open their discussion comments to carry forward the essence I was attempting to convey with that talk.

Jim’s comments on the importance of each of us exploring the polarization within ourselves were so profound I immediately invited him back to co-host our next show (with a deep wish, on my part, that he will come on board with me for the run of the show). We will open up the next show with his impactful perspectives to start us off.

Dana’s comments were no less profound. As Jim suggests in his commentary on the show, soon to follow this one of mine, once we have expanded on Jim’s opening comments from our first show, I/we will be eagerly looking forward to having Dana back with us to develop his. These two men, our first guests, clearly had well thought out, important insights as to how we can move beyond polarization.

So, we did it!  We created an on-air meaningful conversation (not the same old rehash) on our topic, “Beyond Polarization.” We are, now, on our way to developing a viable forum, having as its mission the intention of helping ourselves, our panelists and other participating guests find, personal and collective, ways to knowing what we, as citizens, can do to move beyond polarization in the U.S.A.

And, since the oft mis-interpreted predictions of the Mayan calendar have now demonstrated that the end of the world has not yet come and we are still here, intact, having the opportunity to not only talk any old talk, but really walk the walk, let’s do it, as much and as quickly as we can!

For inspiration, along those lines, check out this quote from Anne Frank.

One official year; December 31, 2011 to January 1, 2013 doing almost one hundred interviews for our Possible Human, Possible Society Study has certainly shown me a great deal about what it is going to take to intentionally create that best possible society in motion. In return for all the support our study has garnered I pledge to do my best to offer back what I/we are learning to help that effort.

Look for our next New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” postings that will include an announcement for our next Possible Society In Motion Show and a commentary on our opening show by Jim French.

Merry Xmas!!!

See the Blog Talk Radio icon on this New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” home page to hear a recorded audio of our show.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Opening Radio Show Panelist Profiles

On The Possible Society In Motion Show
So much to say, never enough time. 

However, allow me, after the fact, to introduce last night’s opening Possible Society In Motion radio show panelists.

If the world does not end today, as predicted, I will get as much up here, today and through next week as time allows, deriving from last night’s show.

It was awesone! A fabulous experience. Everybody participating was awesome, especially the conference call portion. Much more to come, if the world does not end today. Or tomorrow? Or Sunday? (Some give the “ending” a window of a few days.)

Jim French
Jim French is a former association executive for two high-tech, international industries. Over the last ten years he has served as the local producer for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Frederick, has taught continuing education courses for Frederick Community College, and is currently serving as Board President for the Maryland Shakespeare Festival. Jim maintains a vibrant interest in international issues through the World Affairs Council and seeks to reduce polarization at home and abroad.

Dana French
Dana French has had two careers over the last 50 years. The first was 30 years as a Naval officer during which he was a commander both afloat and ashore and the designer of the Navy's central leadership training program for all officers and enlisted personnel. His second career as an organization development consultant has been with various public and private clients nationwide offering teambuilding, strategic planning, executive counsel, and conflict resolution.

Local community service has been with various programs and non-profits addressing poverty, the arts, community leadership development, and creating an infrastructure of collaboration in Frederick County, Maryland.

While serving on the Committee For Frederick County, he developed a Code of Civility and an initiative to get candidates running for elective office to agree to abide by the Code during their campaigns and after being elected.

Many thanks to our panelists, Jim and Dana. Not only for their exceptionalism as models of moving "beyond polarization," but also for their time and spirit in helping me put this opening show together and on the air.

Much more to come!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Possible Society In Motion Show -- Update details


Small "Zones of Peace" Radio

The Possible Society In Motion Show

Hosted by: Anastasia Rosen-Jones

Thursday, December 20 & 27, 6:30 – 8:30 pm.

Note: Program presented in 2 parts

Part 1: 6:30, Anastasia leads a panel discussion
(on Blog Talk Radio)

Part 2: 7 to 8:30 pm, Anastasia with panelists and audience participation
(via conference call)

Topic: Beyond Polarization
 (To join in with our discussion, read Anastasia’s“Overcoming Polarization” address, the foundation for this show’s conversation.)
Guest panelists

Program and discussion, agenda and guidelines, link here.


Monday, December 17, 2012

More Possible Society In Motion Radio Show, plans in motion

As we move forward with plans for our first Small “Zones of Peace” Radio talk show program, here is how our design is shaping up.
Caution: Since we are totally new at this, please keep checking in for updates and connection details. Anything can happen, as you know, when you are just learning the ropes.

So far our blueprint looks like this.
Show title: The Possible Society In Motion Show on Small “Zones of Peace” Radio

Episode title: Beyond Polarization 

The Society In Motion Show

Date: Thursday, December 20 and 27

Time: 6:30 p.m. (7 to 8:30 pm) conference call discussion.
Duration: 30 minutes, panelists on Blog Talk Radio, 1.5 hours (7 to 8:30 pm) conference call-in discussion. (Call- in number forthcoming.)

Description (as posted on Blog Talk Radio):
A panel of experienced community bridge builder facilitators takes up the subject of what we, as citizens, can do to move beyond polarization in the U.S.A. Hosted by New Horizons Small “Zones of Peace” Project Executive Director and Founder, Anastasia Rosen-Jones.

Comments by panelists and the subsequent discussion, including audience call ins, will build its theme upon Ms. Rosen-Jones’s Overcoming Polarization address as presented on Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at Hood College.
Panelists to be announced.

Panelists introductory comments, led by Ms. Rosen-Jones, will be responded to following the Blog Talk Radio show with a conference call discussion from 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (Conference call in number to be posted.)
Review of Ms. Rosen-Jones’ Overcoming Polarization address required for discussion participation.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Announcing The Possible Society In Motion Radio Show


Small "Zones of Peace" Radio 

The Possible Society In Motion Show

Hosted by: Anastasia Rosen-Jones
Thursday, December 20, 7 -- 9 pm.
Topic: Beyond Polarization

(To join in with our discussion, read Anastasia’s“Overcoming Polarization” address, the foundation for this show’s conversation.)

The "Overcoming Polarization" kickoff event, held last Wednesday evening, December 12 at Hood College, opened the doorway to New Horizons next exciting project, “The Possible Society In Motion Show.

Look for more details on our two blog sites to be posted in the coming days.

 Also see, “Overcoming Polarization” -- related stories and original kickoff event announcement (October 30 kickoff event rescheduled to December 12 due to Hurricane Sandy.)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where have you been Anastasia?


Dreaming and doin
1.       So much to do, so little time.

2.       So much going on behind the scenes;

3.       Such a big package: New Horizons Support Network, Inc. and its two main initiatives!

·         The Small “Zones of Peace” Project

More stories and announcements coming soon.

Also visit Anastasia The Storyteller.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mountains to climb, vistas to view, reflections and promises

I needed that Veterans’ Day Hike we took, back two weeks or so ago; the Sunday after the elections. Most especially, I needed to reach a certain scenic overlook and immerse myself in the spaciousness of it, as well as its historical significance.  I was after that experience of awe that is so much a part of my inner landscape when it meets the outer and all is well, as it should be.  Nothing in this world can compare.
Maryland Heights
Scenic Overlook
There hasn’t been much awe of late. The threat and upheaval of Hurricane Sandy had prompted me to stay with neighbors for a few days where, along with good company and the comforting presence of a generator, we worried  about the storm and kept ourselves informed, communally, about the storm, minute by minute, and about others not as fortunate as ourselves.

Then there was the cancelling of our Overcoming Polarization kickoff event, resulting from the hurricane.  My volunteer team and myself had looked forward to the event and had put effort into it for months.  Now our only accrued benefit was a large supply of stale-dated fliers . Next it was the election, with its front runner campaign hostilities that had been high level stress, to say the least.
The combination of these circumstances had, definitely, gotten my, generally well-balanced, relatively contented emotional system askew.

Thus by Veterans’ Day, I, hungrily, felt the need to be at this one spot, particularly; the scenic peak at Maryland Heights, overlooking the historical town of Harpers Ferry. From high up here you can visually re-trace the route, along the C & O Canal, where John Brown made his approach to hit the town, attempting  to generate an uprising in rebellion of slavery. Brown had taken the armory and hostages and then been taken prisoner here, himself, after his effort failed. 
Not long after, Harpers Ferry and its surrounding environs became home to cannonball batteries for both Union and Confederate soldiers, armed to do damage to the “others” as well as the land. Here they had seized the highlands to lodge their Civil War encampments and stake out the “enemy;” the enemy they would come to know later as themselves, when the country, at last, began to heal from its war torn divisions.

Since I have lived in these mountains, surrounding Harpers Ferry, I have done my best to visit these sites, at least once a year, and bring others with me. On Veterans’ Day, our mission specifically includes giving thanks to veterans, past and present, for their sacrifices for our freedom. This Sunday, however, the only real battles, close by, had been in the political arena where, thank goodness, no real blood had been shed.  On this Veteran’s Day, I, thus, hungrily sought the clear view, the challenge of the climb and the clean, fresh air of that Maryland Heights vista, remembrances and gratitude.
The view from this height and position allows one to see the town, the rivers and the mountains that embrace them for miles around. The scene is so majestic, from both the heights and the ground, as to have prompted Thomas Jefferson to describe it  as “worth a voyage across the seas” at a time when peace reigned. In particular, Jefferson was describing the confluence (or flowing together) of the two beautiful  rivers, the Potomac and the Shenandoah, that happens here.

I could have stayed at the overlook all day, even into the night, once we reached it. The sunset would have been glorious. I wished we could have stayed to see it. We had been gifted with such a clear, crisp Indian summer day for our hike.  I wanted to linger on at this peak, feeling the “awe” that has seemed illusive in recent past weeks.
But I was with a group of people,  enthusiastic responders to my invitation to do this (almost, annual) New Horizons’ Veterans’ Day hike and, having reached this spot, after close to four hours of hiking with about another hour, yet, to reach ground level, again, they were  eager to get back down.

Still hungry for something, somehow, left behind for me at that peak, I have been drawn, ever since, to reflect, not infrequently, as to what my lingering sense of deprivation since this day had been about. This morning it came clear to me.
In blindness I had learned, in my mind, to climb many mountain peaks (with Murat as my guide). This day, Veterans’ Day, I yearned, almost desperately,  to experience another confluence; the one that brings my inner landscape into a beautiful flow with the outer. Now that I can SEE with my new eyes/corneas once more!  

I knew I could experience and SEE this at the Maryland Heights scenic overlook. I need to keep experiencing and SEEING, again and again, the awe that is truly present inside of me, on the ground or at high level heights, and behold all that I can of that confluence with other people and nature.
It is this feeling of rightness, inside every cell of my being, in unity and peace with all people and all of life for which I hunger.  So, having reached this clarity, once again, today, it is time for me to get back to my postings here and do whatever is the next right thing for me, ground level and beyond, in our brave new world, post Election 2012. I have much to offer to our possible society in motion.

I hope I have been missed.
I return, like any other hero of a thousand miles, with many stories to tell from the past and the present, pledging, again, to do my best. Particularly, I want to share what I learned from living and .working in a Camelot tainted by the dark side of politics and politicians. Mostly, however, I want to offer what I know that might be of some benefit to others regarding how to deal with the dark side of Washington politics and politicians.

It is very important that I, now, pass this on -- with the greatest of gratitude that I can, once again, SEE with both my mind and my eyes and SAY what is mine to say.

These lessons are our gifts to you, being the foundations upon which, combined what Sue has brought and she and I co-created, New Horizons' Small "Zones of Peace" Project and our Possible Human, Possible Society Study, have been developed. Many of them are priceless so keep coming back and doing your best to put the pieces together of our gift sto you.

We will make every possible effort, now that we can move past Election, 2012 to make all that we have available to you so that, collectively, we can join together in the coming years to build small "zones of peace" everywhere we go and transform the dark into the light.
More to come.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Election Demographics and the “Peter Principle”

Study Report
Or, how, we, the citizens of the U.S.A., raise ourselves up to our highest level of incompetence and stay there, while blaming the other guy, especially our political leaders.

If you want to really learn a few new things about this subject, just ask the right questions, and, listen carefully. I did.

As a result,  I have really had an interesting and fun-packed year, using the best of my professional skills (and, still, totally imperfect).
This past year, as the designer and primary researcher of New Horizons’ Possible Human, Possible Society Study, I have, particularly, appreciated my clinical and research background and my passion for understanding group dynamics (i.e. the possible human striving to build the possible society).

What fun I have had! And, how very much I have learned! Not to mention my meeting of interesting people with much to share, if asked the right questions in the right way.
Of course, the bare nitty-gritties of the raw data are still a long way from being analyzed and clarified; our premises interpreted. With that fact in mind, only the topmost from the study can be skimmed off to share at this early date, lest the process be compromised before we are done.

Nonetheless, I offer you this.
So far New Horizons’ Possible Human, Possible Society Study, along with the intriguing observations garnered from programs we have thus far planned and presented (programs to date are listed below), have been afforded us untold opportunities. Working side by side with select individuals actively engaged as possible humans doing community unity building activities, we have learned more than anticipated.

Conclusion (interim): Doing our best with one another to be our best, none of us has been quite able to reach that magical peak at the top of the Mountain of Awe.

(Programs to date are listed as follows –)

  • Possible Society In Motion, Dialogue and Dinner event (October 23, 2011);
  • Possible Human, Possible Society Think Tank (September, 2011 – January, 2012);
  • New Horizons’ (Almost Annual) Abkhazian Dinner event (March 25, 2012);
  • The Bus Ride Story Adventure, rehearsal series (May, 2012 – August, 2012);
  • Frederick County “Overcoming Polarization” kickoff event (planning process, event cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, September – November, 2012).
So what does this all tell us?

Allow me to answer that question rather obliquely for now, with the promised intent to develop specificity in the future, over time, as appropriate.

Conclusion follows (interim):  
Remember the best seller, The Peter Principle, way back when?

That book and the related study it was based upon presented an illuminating perspective on how people in organizations keep moving up the organizational ladder until they outstretch their optimum capabilities, leading, next, to their reaching their highest levels of incompetence.

Conclusion (interim) here is one item revealed by our study to date:  
This is what we are all doing; raising ourselves up to our highest level of incompetence, give or take a few saints here and there, as far as being best possible humans, building the best possible society directly with one another goes.

Example: We can put a man on the moon and still not sustain harmony in many of our homes and schools.
Are you surprised? I hope not. It’s a complicated issue; this raising up to one’s highest level of incompetence, what falls out as consequences, and, the discovery of new ways (i.e. elegant solutions) to do better. It all takes time. Compassion and patience with ourselves and one another is strongly urged.

The subject of the "Peter Principle" in motion, hereby introduced, as discovered through our Possible Human, Possible Society, is an intricate weave of elements.  Thus, it behooves me to acknowledge that, for me, to lay out one simple piece, here, is to, perhaps, reach my own highest level of competence. I am about to go over the top of the ladder to the next rung of my human evolution; reaching my own incompetence.
As our study progresses with its intended objectives, please do check out the premises of the Peter Principle (see Wikipedia) for a prelude to what our Possible Human, Possible Society Study is revealing. And, do, please, try to humble yourself in the process, should any remnants of arrogance still have a hold on you, following, of course, the role modeling of our esteemed president, Barack Obama.

And, please do come back for more.
Over time, I/we will do my/our best to share what we are learning on how each and every one of us may be, at this very moment, in the process of living out our dreams while, concurrently, sabotaging them (including what we contribute to our success as a nation).

Nonetheless, we will continue to strive to inform, along with persistent hints, as already introduced, on how we can all do a whole lot better.
Trust me, if you dare, we can all be doing better than we are!

So, I ask you, why all the excessive focus and blame on our leaders?
Are you, honestly, on every front of your life so much more perfect?

I ask you, now, to take a close look.
Or, perhaps, for him/them it is simply karma (good or bad) to have been given the assignment to be … President of the U.S.A. or the head of the CIA and have your poo regularly be under the microscope, for better or worse.

There by the grace of God goes each and every one of us at our highest level of incompetence. How truly beautiful are we, as humans!
More to come.

Election demographics showed us this, but not this –

Study Report
Ok, the majority of our voters chose Barack Obama to lead our country. The demographics especially spotlighted that minorities, women and students have a far different value system than what Mitt Romney and the GOP seemed to want to foist upon us.

But they didn’t yet tell us this –

Now that we’ve got our election results settled, for the time being, there is still a whole lot that is up to us to tackle, other than voting. That is, if we truly want to become a country with a highly diverse population that works well together, for the good of all.

If the “good of all” is truly our desire, as the demographics seem to suggest, how can we go about achieving the result?
Main point: How exactly do we go about overcoming the polarization that shows up in our politics?

From our Possible Human, Possible Society Study

  • Better than 85% of the people we interviewed report that their vision of a healthfully functioning U.S.A. includes building bridges to overcome the problems of diversity that hinder unity (i.e. overcoming polarization).
So far about eighty of our targeted 400 by December 31, 2015 have been interviewed.

  • Fewer than 10% of those interviewed say they make any effort, at all, to interact with people who are markedly different from themselves.
‘Markedly different’ is described as having differences of ethnicity or culture, religion, value systems or viewpoints including political perspectives.

Contemplate this, if you will, and the significance of fewer than 10% of the collective in our country being unwilling to interact in meaningful ways with anybody distinctly different from themselves. Especially in a country where more and more people, every day, are born who are, most likely, different than those with whom you grew up and/or have ever known, especially if you are white.
This sampling includes individuals from each of the four sub-groups for our study.

Question: If you are ready to accept (especially if you are white and middle class) that you are living more and more in a world full of strangers and strangeness, is there anything different that you think you might be willing to do to help this country be all that it was meant to be and can be?
More to come.