Wednesday, November 17, 2004

MoveOn reCaps

One could argue that a big reason we missed seeing the outcome of this election was that people in general do not allow for another perspective to what we think is self-evident. I’ve heard and read a hundred times that the Democratic Party doesn’t stand up to anything. For many in America, Bush stood up for something. He was bold enough to make a stand and even if it was a horrible stand they still gave him their vote. This says something about what many people want, and more, of what we haven defined yet. I think the time is right to define our values, define our positions, and define our truths. But the challenge is to realize that all our values, truths and positions- even when speaking about something as simple as a glass of water, are different.

But if we were to find a forum to begin to share our opinions on truth, value and position, we would begin to understand each other’s perspectives better, and could begin to form a consensus that we all could embrace. Education is the missing component in our puzzle today. Educating ourselves to another’s perspective. If we can learn more from each other about how similar we really are, and realize we’re all coming from different angles we all can learn to understand what our truths, values and positions really are–without the distortion of our own perspective. Then we can begin come together, with insight and common ground. Only our common ground would be based in education and inclusion, not fanaticism and religious exclusion. This is how we will defeat the Conservative Social Groups who are on a crusade with Bush at the helm. They are excluding everyone but their flock–no nation, no religion, no faith, no loyalty, no political party, no geographic or social position, no thought but their own. This is how we can become stronger than their faith–by inclusion, education, and understanding. And in the process- we can even include them and their perspective-for one could argue that once they realize that this administration has its own agenda too- they will become disenfranchised too

But where is there a forum big enough for everyone to fit? Big enough for everyone to be heard?
One place is MoveOn’s greatest asset, the website and information infrastructure connected to a network of members across the nation. Using their motivated volunteers, we help organize a grassroot consensus generation/education network through regular house parties linked by MoveOn’s website– like what we have this Sunday. The purpose of these parties could be to get people across the nation to focus a question– to begin thinking, discussing, and learning about each other from each person’s answer to the question. The cool thing is that people in homes all over the nation, would be asking the same questions at the same time. If ever there was a chance for a greater goodness to intervene, it would be now.

Members would host parties at homes across the nation with broadband internet connections. A Facilitator would be chosen ahead of time, and there could be different ones each meeting. The Facilitator’s role would be to focus the group, and stimulate discussion. The group tunes to the MoveOn site at a prescribed time to link up, nationwide. They logon to a page on the MoveOn site, where at each meeting, an exercise/lesson is accessed (like a book club and the book they choose each meeting.) The lesson centers on a Circle Question – like a discussion point. Along with the Circle Question is a host of supporting information. A variety of content pertinent to the question- additional questions, discussion points, links to other websites, graphs, video and links to books or movies–all supporting the Circle Question. MoveOn will stream some live content- a speaker will begin discussion of the question then your group will briefly discuss the question and review the links and media sources. Then you break the meeting and everyone goes home and spends time researching and responding to the question themselves. Until the next MoveOn house party. Meanwhile, everyone posts their response to the Question on a MoveOn discussion board and answers some multiple-choice questions. Everyone can access the forum to read each others views. Then at the next MoveOn house party, your group gets together and one-by-one, read each other’s response to the Circle Question. Discussion inevitably begins as everyone begins to see on another’s perspective. Consensus begins to form as perspectives broaden and overlap. The result is a new combined answer to the Circle Question that gets sent back to MoveOn’s forum and through an online questionnaire. You get to see and hear from others across the nation in realtime through a MoveOn livelink map webpage just like you’ll see Sunday. Finally, at the close of the meeting, MoveOn presents the next Circle Question and links page for the next meeting.

Over time, we begin to learn perspective, truth, and value from one-and-other. More house parties join as consensus builds. Eventually we begin to purposefully invite others of different opinion to the party to better understand and include them.

Now- better informed, and better connected we begin to form what we as a people need to have America become
along the way we begin to learn to sacrifice as we try to understand everyone’s perspectives
we also begin to see how everyone has to sacrifice at some point in some discussion

so we feel less “put upon” or singled out for having to give up one thing to help the whole.

Consensus is worthless without perspective, and perspective is nothing without relating it to each other.
True consensus will form enlightenment and enlightenment will show the path to a greater future.

So this meeting on Sunday is about discussing the future for MoveOn. If what I’ve illustrated above makes sense to you too, then lets enlighten them to the path of true consensus through the Circle Question/Discussion Group Consensus Model, and use their asset to help us unite and define our future.

Let me know what you think of this idea? There are details to flesh out, but the framework is there and seems feasible. Please take some time to flesh out your own ideas, or spin off from mine and lets give MoveOn a mandate to focus on at Sunday’s Meeting.

Thank you

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Stay Tuned...

Okay Friends...

We're coming together... the clouds of confusion are clearing and the emotions are settling.
Our Election 9/11 tragedy has given s new found redemption and purpose.

Here is a draft of just one of the things that have been distilling in my consciousness recently.

I've spoken to most of you recently of an idea I have to bring about a change.
I'm working with some ideas for a vehicle and a gestalt to bring us together...
and hope you will all play an active role in it's germination, and fruition.

My thoughts stem from to directives- intellectual and emotional... both need healing.
I feel it is important for us to begin to differentiate these sources as we form a foundation for a dialog.

Emotional directives can have caustic implications... a silly picture of a leader, a telling joke... but in the end,
they serve to charge the recipient... I hope we begin to look beyond the use of these items... and find a way to
channel our emotions towards a greater good... anyone can make a funny picture of Bush, or catch him in a foible...
lets begin to move from that base and find a common ground to build a positive emotion...
one to truly effect change here at home.

This piece I've encluded serves the emotional directive through intellect...
Soon I'll have an intellectual directive to offer you.
It is in the works and really exciting...
I hope it will serve as a base for each of us to build upon.
All our voices are important- I'm simply channeling what is necessary through me,
and offering it up to you all.

First thing I want to say though- is to urge you to forgive... Forgive yourself, Forgive your neighbor,
Forgive your fellow citizens. I didn't say forget... just make peace.

We have an opportunity to make real gains from this... We must learn the lesson- humility is the first step to understanding our differences, and finding common ground.

Humility does not mean to lay prostrate on the ground...
it means to accept the news and reflect, and renew

More is coming...
Stay tuned.