Disagreeing about what is right and good (or wrong and bad) can be challenging. Our culture has evolved to reward winners and dismiss losers. Our biology rewards us with dopamine when we are right - and then we want more. Is it any wonder that we all want to be “right” and on the winning team? But relationships are not a game to count the number of times we are right and declare a winner. What is the actual cost to our relationships when we fall into the right/wrong game? And how can we step out of the right/wrong paradigm to explore what’s really important to - and enlivens - us all?continued
The 2016 election brought attention to our political system . . . and our differences. Now we need to restore relationships around our shared hopes and dreams and get our country focused on the work of governing.
How will we do this? This conversation allows us to start exploring what’s next. Whether we feel elated or defeated — whatever our differences — let's insist on finding the deeper unities we can rest upon and defend. Generosity. Goodness. Kindness. Freedom. Respect.continued
In this conversation, we explore our own experience about how we learned to talk about politics . . . or to avoid it. We are sharing stories about what has happened around our political conversations and consider the impact this has on our relationships with friends and family. Each of us has a different story about how we have learned to navigate these possibly hostile conversations. This isn't a conversation focused on issues, but rather a discovery of how we decide who to relate to and at what depth based on our knowledge of political views.continued
The topic of muslim refugees and national security has been a point of controversy and discussion during this election. This conversation touches on some of our core values as individuals and as a nation. Our need to balance constitutional rights and generosity with prudence. Balancing freedom and security- safety and care for other people whose lives are at risk due to political, ethnic and religious conflict. How can we offer assistance? How can we protect ourselves?continued
September 13, 2016
Political correctness is a topic that has been one of contention this election and has strong supporters and strong opposition. Today we discover what this loaded term means to us and find out how differing perspectives understand it. What does political correctness mean to you? Join or wonderful group and listen to this civil dialogue of an issue that tucks at our society. Please join us for this important discussion.continued
September 7, 2016
The United States constitution guarantees our freedom to express our religion. But what happens when our religious beliefs affect others in society? How can we interact respectfully in spite of our different belief systems? The Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is the law of the land. But what about traditionalists whose creed says that it is a sin? This conversation is about the line between individual rights and community values, plus the role of government.
August 25, 2016
What would happen if we had a National Basic Income (NBI)? Every citizen of the country is guaranteed to receive money, regardless of circumstances. This idea has been around for a few decades as a potential solution to ending poverty. It has also been championed as a way to reduce social programs and government bureaucracy. In the spring of 2016, Switzerland voted down a referendum on this, but Finland is drafting a plan that will be presented via referendum in late 2016. While some fear automation will shrink available jobs, others see NBI as a way to stimulate the economy. We invite you to engage in a little dreaming about what our future could be.
August 11, 2016
Homelessness in America is a “wicked problem” that reminds us daily of our failure to be our best. How do we explain to children the presence of hungry, cold, neglected and often mentally ill men women and children on our streets in the midst of plenty?
Living Room Conversations are one opportunity to begin to build community and better understand the challenges and opportunities surrounding this problem. If we gather neighbors, business owners, health care workers, police, government officials, homeless people and their families in conversation might we build trust and begin to explore opportunities to do better?
Conversations are admittedly only a starting point, but isn’t it time to start?
This interview is part of the American Citizens Summit, a free online event featuring respected political leaders, grassroots visionaries, business pioneers, change agents and advocates who are leading the way to actualize the full power of democracy by building bridges across divides. For more information, please visit americancitizenssummit.com. This recording is a copyright of The Shift Network. All rights reservedcontinued
June 28, 2016
We all love our children and want our community to be safe. We have seen tragedy in our communities and want that to end. We all want law enforcement to be fair. And we want police to be able to do their job in a manner that is safe for them and the community. Let’s start with this as a given.
Over the last year, policing has become a major point of discussion as violence crossing racial lines has provoked racial tensions. Too often, the conversation remains paralyzed in fear or anger—with people unable to share deeply considered feelings and perspectives. We're hoping this conversation may contribute to a thoughtful exploration on this question.
June 23, 2016
The Living Room Conversations team was joined by several Coffee Party USA radio show hosts and producers for this 90-minute special conversation on guns and responsibility. In the wake of the latest mass shooting, we came together to talk about our concerns and hopes for the future and explored what we have in common and where to go from here. We explored our personal history with guns, our connections with others, and discovered that no one is “for” disarming our fellow Americans.