Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I Thought

Study Report

In the midst of the swell from the launching of our Possible Human Study, our early Think Tank meetings – and – the intriguing impact of our Bus Ride Story Adventure at our recent Abkhazian Dinner, I thought we may well have found the magical solution to that oft posed quandry of Neale Donald Walsch, given the stories people were telling us about themselves.

"How is it possible that 6.9 billion people can all claim to want the same thing (Peace, security, opportunity, prosperity, happiness, and love) and be singularly unable to get it? Neale Donald Walsch

That was until events fell out after our recen event.

When I/we discovered the sub-text of the event, I/we had to go back to our proverbial drawing board for some important considerations. I thought and I pondered. Then I consulted my three devoted board members, Lisa, Sue and Sandi (our unofficial board member).

Here are a few of the conclusions to date that we came to. They have brought us to a turning point insofar as our Possible Human, Possible Society Study and our developing Bus Ride Story Adventure series project.

  • High minded people can “say”, even trouble themselves to give lengthy testimony as to their righteous endeavors in the service of peace-action and still be disrespectful and disruptive and lacking in accountability.
  • High-mined people can “say” they abhor racial intolerance and still be emotionally violating to "others," even in a setting established to draw attention to peace and non-violence (i.e. our recent Abkhazian Dinner, supporting our local Season For Non-Violence).
  • High-minded people can “say” they stand for peace and justice and still take no action at all when injustice is staring them right in the face.
This is all so interesting for us to witness, right before our eyes, insofar as it involves participants in our Possible Human, Possible Society Study. It is intriguing to us, not only in an academic way, but from the vantage place of each one of us being “radically immersed” in the circumstances. In other words, if we are not part of the solution, how might we still be active parts of the problem?

This we do not know.

So now we have come to an area of concern that our board believes is an important enough issue for us to consider in terms of how we are progressing on our study and our developing Bus Ride Story Adventure series. We are. thus, pondering the following. wondering how best to proceed given that:

1. We seem to have designed an important set of community-unity, peace building assessment inventories, activities, tools and skills to contribute to the evolution of the “real” Possible Human, Possible Society through our Small “Zones of Peace” Project, including our newest project, the Bus Ride Story Adventure series (If so bravo for us!);

2. The gross incongruency between what people are telling us about themselves in this study and how they choose to behave is truly a fascinating scenario to witness.

3. What shall we do next, given that we are presently challenged as to whether or not to honestly report what we are gathering from our study, including the accounts of some participants regarding their personal peace-building activities that appear to either be steeped in massive discounting, denial or lies? Or, I may still be blind.

The central question of our study, from its inception, has always been: who is walking the walk, who is not?

What to do? What to do?

If you are in our study (or would like to be) we are interested in hearing from you regarding our quandary.

Of one thing we are certain; although we have no idea where what began at our Abkhazian Dinner will take us, we will always be able to trace back to it as a beginning. Hopefully that will mean we will be more and more in it together, possible humans, consciously building a possible society, walking the walk.

Now we are seeing, unless, of course, I am still blind, how that central theme plays out (Also reference the above quote from Neale Donald Walsch.)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Bus Ride Story Adventure: Where Does It Take Us?

As its centerpiece, the Bus Ride Story Adventure takes us on a journey to build bridges of enhanced community unity. It accomplishes this by telling a story about an imaginary bus ride trip of seven days.

(The original story, written by Murat Yagan and edited by Sue deVeer can be read at this link.)

We want to travel
with you.
Central to our telling of this story, our adventure asks participants to consider and discuss some key points as derived from the story. Some of the most important of these points are as follows:

1. What experiences have you previously had with “exceptional communities” and exceptional leaders?

(For a discussion on “exceptional communities” (i.e. the best possible of the healthy communities) and exceptional leaders, from a New Horizons’ perspective as derived through our guidance from Murat as well as my (Anastasia’s) expertise with therapeutic communities, see this link.)

2. Do you think that the health or lack of healthy, local communities in present day U.S.A. (again see link for definition and discussion on “exceptional communities”) affects the solving of the current problems of our nation? If so, how do you see this for good or naught?

Moving into the main activities of the Bus Ride Story, the following questions are asked:

1. Do you wish to have a sense of community with others?

2. Do you believe that those with whom you are “traveling” might share this wish with you in some common way?

3. How then, given your wishes and the presumed similarity with the others with whom you are traveling, can the outcome of this wish for an exceptionally healthy, local community be achieved in a relatively short period of time?

Several more very important items are added to these discussion questions that, than, become the basis for travelers willing to join one another on our Bus Ride Story Adventure, #101.

(The Bus Ride Story Adventure, #101 is an introductory event accompanied by a potluck dinner.)

Anastasia and Sue will serve as Bus Ride tour guides for our new Bus Ride Story Adventure series that will be launched next Saturday, May 12.

Get on board!

Join us for this new educational and consciousness-raising program that New Horizons is now offering that enhance our Possible Human, Possible Society Study.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Event Becomes Process: Part I

Study Report

How the Possible Human, Possible Society Study went from Think Tank to Abkhazian Dinner to the Bus Ride Story Adventure and gained a whole new dimension.

A vista was discovered, so to speak, that was so unexpected as to be almost off our charts. How very interesting; a pot of gold may have been found for the rainbow’s end!

But it is kind of a long story. And, the ending is far from clear while the moral of the tale is also still obscure. You might want to ignore this story for these reasons alone. Yet it is the kind of yarn for a campfire or its equivalent which, I believe, will only improve with age. Here it goes in case you are interested.

(Should you be new to the adventures of our Possible Human, Possible Society Study which is always a work in progress and very much in motion, check out our study archives.)

On my end telling this story is already soooooo long and tedious. It will take a good while to tell it completely. Minimally, it must be recounted in several parts. Yet the adventure must be shared lest you, particularly, our erstwhile, early study participants wonder whether or not we dropped the ball on our way down the field. (I assure you we did not. However, sometimes what goes on behind the scenes is a bit much to articulate.)

Here goes my tale.

Back in mid-January, duty compelled Sue and I to go ahead, reluctantly, with plans for the Abkhazian Dinner on behalf of our local, annual Season For Non Violence. We had made the commitment late in November. March 25, 2012 was to be our time to present. However, in my mind this planned event did not seem to be quite the next right thing for us to do. Sue would support whatever I wanted to do. Still the decision to do or not to do required intense contemplation.

Then I happened to talk to my friend, Andrea Norouzi, one of Frederick County’s most hard working and devoted peace activists, also on the planning committee for the Season For Non-Violence. I love Andrea and respect her to the utmost. So, oops! Upon my mentioning our contemplation re: the Season For Non-Violence to her, she was not at all pleased with our giving reneging a second thought. Oh, oops, again.

So back I went to Sue a bit perplexed. Honor being as it is, we quickly realized that, casting other priorities aside, we were duty bound to stick to our original plan. The Abkhazian Dinner on behalf of the Season For Non-Violence would be Sunday, March 25, 2012. It was our’s to do. But, it was not quite so easy to readily take up this project as we had done numerous times in the past. Amongst other things our revised plan meant that we would have to postpone our anticipated Think Tank open house scheduled for Frebruary.

Here I will let Event Becomes Process: Part I rest for awhile. It wears me out almost just thinking about what came next and what it set in motion. We do, however, have a tale to tell that is a wonderful example of the gifts fate (or as I prefer to say in Yiddish, B’shrt, meaning destiny) can have in mind for us should we allow ourselves to follow the light.

What do think is happening now?

Answer: Unexplected blessings are coming to us from the turn around talking to Andrea set in motion. And, if I am not mistaken we may just be on our way to AWE!

There will never be an end to it all. Yet we will always be able to trace back to this time as the beginning.

Okay. This is really hard to write, so come back later.

More to come as our tale unfolds and the mysteries of hidden meaning come to light.

In the meantime, please join us on our journey as it unfolds at our May 12 event/process the Bus Ride Story Adventure where more of our tale will surely be told.