In both classes and casual conversations, people are asking, How did we get here? How will this end?
Some feel despair, some see an opportunity to address long-standing issues in our democracy. All hope for a better future for their children.
Those who despair decry the harsh partisanship of our politics and the confusing overwhelm of information that is pushed at us from every turn. They ask how can the average citizen be heard? How can we change? Where might we go?
And in all these conversations people are looking at how to bring our political and economic lives into line with the needs of people – how to build a more caring economy, a more compassionate culture, a wiser democracy.
The pandemic has revealed many weaknesses in our culture, economy, and political infrastructure, which developed over many years. And it is providing an opportunity, should we choose to use it, to shape our futures through dialogue.
So now is the time to reach out and talk with others, even if — especially if — those are difficult conversations. And by talking we don’t mean talking at. Instead we need to be talking with others in ways that acknowledge our concern, care, and interdependence. None of us has all of the answers, and for better or worse, our futures are intertwined.
So let’s make it for better. Reach out and connect with your family, friends and neighbors. Hear their fears, share yours, generate new ideas together, and engage others. Build a dialogue that has the potential to move us forward.