June 20, 2011
Samantha Tan and I got married this weekend! What an incredibly joyful time! I can’t begin to do justice to the wellspring of emotion that seems to be bursting from within me, but I do want to offer a brief and relevant reflection for our readers.
Marriage is between two people, and it is rooted in their love from one another – it is a link, a commitment, a connection but it itself exists within the web of connection. Our wedding brought together a rich network of loving relationships from all aspects of our lives. Family, colleagues, long time friends and new friends, comrades, artists, children and elders – a well-woven web of love all connected to our own node of love. It was community, and it was love made visible. Read More
January 20, 2011
|Photo by limaoscarjuliet|http://www.flickr.com/photos/limaoscarjuliet/3305886294|
Leave it to David Brooks to put a nice point on our string of posts this week and last on the importance of tending to our “interior condition.” Brooks’ recent article in The New Yorker (“Social Animal: How the new sciences of human nature can help make sense of a life”) pulls together much of the brain research that is pointing us in the direction of redefining (or is it rediscovering?) what matters most in our lives. Without going into a lot of the details, I wanted to highlight some of the points the article raises, and then heartily encourage you to make it part of your weekend reading (and then get back to us here with some of your reactions!): Read More
January 19, 2011
|Image from c2bdesign.com|www.c2bdesign.com|
Talk of tending to our “interior condition” has been in the air and very active on this blog the past couple of weeks (see “What Love Looks Like in Action,” “Between Hope and a Hard Place,” and “Meditation for the Love of It”). In all of these posts there is a thread that makes the point that focusing on our inner selves, expressions of empathy, and cultivating mindfulness and deep connection to self and other(s) are vital to the work of transformational social change. In line with all of this, I’ve been re-reading a wonderful book that speaks about why and how we should make considerations of our individual and collective interiors central to our work.
In Inside-Out: Stories and Methods for Generating Collective Will to Create the Future We Want, Tracy Huston, coach, consultant, and founder of the Menlo Lab, speaks openly about her initial skepticism about and evolving embrace of focusing on the self. Huston enumerates the following five practical reasons why tending to our interior conditions makes sense (I have added some of my own editorial comments): Read More
May 20, 2010
|Photo by woodleywonderworks|http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/2223340202|
Last Thursday my IA colleagues Ashley Welch and Andy Atkins and I teamed up with David McConville of The Elumenati and Ned Gardiner of NOAA to take a group of cross-sectoral leaders and thinkers on a unique journey. This trip included a visit to the outer edges of our universe, passing through our solar system, galaxy, and neighboring galactic bodies. Then, out of breath, we zoomed back in to take a new look at our planet Earth through the lens and visualized overlay of data about our terrestrial home – warming trends, population density, biodiversity and traffic patterns. Welcome to the GeoDome!
May 11, 2010
David Brooks is making me think again. This time he is pointing to the limits of policy. Yes, he’s throwing stones at what is a sacred cow for change makers of all stripes – and I’m glad he is doing it. As happens too often with Brooks, he gets dangerously close to cultural determinism, but it is by walking that line that he can manage to highlight some very important empirical patterns. Read More
December 3, 2009
“What does Twitter do to our relationship with Creation?” This was the final question in a wonderful conversation the other day with Liz Parsons, Co-Director of Contextual Education at the Boston University School of Theology. Our free-ranging dialogue ended on this note as we were exploring potential win-win formats for field placements for BU students at social change agencies. What would be in it for the agencies? Stating my belief that many students bring with them more natural collaborative inclinations and social media savvy than “seasoned’ social change leaders, I posited this as a value proposition inherent in members of the younger generation. Which got us firmly down the Twitter path . . .
When Liz’s provocative question popped, my mind split. On the one hand, I could see the case being made that Twitter and other Web 2.0 tools provide an additional and unhelpful buffer between us and the world. Too much reliance on the technology can, as essayist Bill Holm writes, “separate and deracinate us from nature and one another” removing “any sense of from-ness or connection.” The question looms whether we need any more mediation of our experience when so much suffering seemingly stems from disconnection. In a follow-up message, Liz mentioned that when her husband purchased a laptop, it came with an ongoing slide show of nature photos. “As if we have to be reminded,” she wrote, taking the words out of my mouth.