Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Truly Beaut-i-full And Impactful!

The agenda for last Saturday’s “community gathering” was to introduce New Horizons’ new project, the “Counterculture Community Development Experiment” to participants and the “Principles” that will foster its success.

With just that one day at hand to try out the template now being designed for the project by our board of directors, having “Making Violence Obsolete” as its centerfold, and only a small core group of participants for this initial run through, the impact of what we accomplished in just a few hours still left no doubt in my mind that we have now made a beautiful and impactful beginning.
Bravo! And congratulations to “US” for the take off of this exciting next project.

A “beautiful” set of Power Point slide handouts -- (if I do say so myself as I am the one that created them) -- provided participants with a well-delineated  overview of what we are intent on bringing into widespread application -- a movement perhaps might even emerge from our intention; doing our part to help “make violence obsolete,” G-d willing and the creek don’t rise. These prompted enthusiastic discussion and lively interactions to drive home our objectives. 

The most prominent aspect of our conversations, from my perspective, was the indepth consideration of how exactly -- as Margaret Mead suggested -- “a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world” (i.e. in New Horizons lingo, “make violence obsolete.”). 

I believe most of those present were contemplating the answer to that question I was certain, at least as much as basic formulae go and their applications, I had been learning how to achieve, if only, for more than forty years already; by living "it" not merely thinking about it.

And, of course, there was also the potluck and the camaraderie of hangin’ out on one of our last nice, but a bit warmer than we like, end of August days.

significant part of the answer I am inclined to stress is -- very slowly and step-by-step!   As evidenced by the “takeaways” participants identified as their next action steps in line with our stated agenda, I could see they were already begin to consider that direction too; the pathway to awe -- and -- possibly grant me the privelege of being their guide.

Long time coming!

The single most agreed upon, by a good portion of the group, of the various angles presented tat day was to devote serious, personal attention to altering the following, day-to-day characteristics of polarization in themselves.
  • Emotional barriers;
  • Defensiveness;
  • Communication breakdown;
  • Seeing the “other” as an enemy;
  • Fear, anger, blame, criticism, power struggles;
  • Conflict, withdrawal, avoidance, collusion, secrets, aggression, bullying and violence. 
Nary a participant could attest to being free of each and everyone of these.  So they pledged to begin there.

How about you?  What are your next steps to help "make violence obsolete"?

Coming soon – “Making Violence Obsolete” Seminars, open to the public
Beginning in October.

Next Harper’s Ferry Retreat Center Community Gathering --
Saturday, October 1

Look for details.

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