From Outrage to Engage.

July 19, 2023

From Outrage to Engage.

May 29, 2023

Long ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying.” If you’re on the left, this might apply to Donald Trump. Or, on the right, Bernie Sanders. And, for Joe Biden, it might be, “Your age speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying or see what you’re doing.”

There are many reasons why I love living primarily in Mexico. It’s rare to see outrage, especially in our mellow fishing and farming community. And, when we see it, it’s often from the gringos who aren’t open to change, even when the locals are often enthused by how their community is improving. Most Mexicans I know assume the best intentions in each other. Doesn’t feel that way in the U.S. any more.

We recently had a lovely southern woman in an MEA workshop. I could immediately intuit that she and I might be on different sides of the political aisle. She said a couple of things in the first 24 hours that bristled a few folks, but rather than be judgmental, I decided to get curious. I asked her if we could share a meal in a private spot.

I decided to lead with appreciative inquiry questions to understand why she’s such a pro-Trump evangelist. Then, we talked about my political perspective, and I asked her to show me the same courtesy of asking catalytic questions that weren’t full of outrage but were meant to engage. After our hour together, we commented on how enjoyable that had been. We learned something about each other and why we think and believe the way we do, and we might have even persuaded each other on a couple of topics.

How do we move from “outrage to engage” in the U.S.? And which organizations are creating the crucible for these kinds of conversations to occur?

P.S. THIS IS A WOW! Light Watkins is one of my heroes and he's teaching with me and my co-founder Christine Sperber next week at MEA Baja. Rich Roll had an amazing interview with him on his podcast (this is the 4th time Light has been on Rich's popular podcast). We've had a couple of people cancel, so we have a couple of spaces available for next week’s workshop “Creating a Vibrant Life Through Spiritual Minimalism.”

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