Are You Up for a Challenge?

I want this to be a different type of blog. A different kind of conversation; a conversation not just between you and me, but you, me and others.

I’m afraid to admit that my vocabulary is so limited, that I don’t have words to express how important conversation is. Conversation  is actually at the heart of our democracy. Our democratic culture is dependent upon conversation, debate, negotiation and compromise, all of which means we must listen to and be heard by one another.

And so, I do want this to be a conversation…but not just between you and me, but you me and others. Other people you know. Other people you know well…and perhaps others you don’t know so well. So here’s what I’d like for you to do with this blog…

Many of the subjects raised in these posts are going to be, more or less, opinion pieces: what I think about culture, race, politics, poverty, education, etc. Some of these opinions will provoke interest, thought, maybe even some level of indignation. But all are meant to provoke conversation. More particularly some degree of face-to-face conversation. Designed for you to leave your computer (or whatever device you use) and take the subject matter and actually talk with someone you know about what you’ve read. It’s not necessary to give me attribution. But what is necessary is that you talk with someone about what you’ve read. You may be surprised at who disagrees with you. You may be surprised with who agrees with you. But have these conversations.

Today, we live in a world in which most of our dealings are with people who are just like us. They look, worship, vote, and go to the same schools as we do. They, for the most part, have the same worldview as we do. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we broke out of that mold, approached someone different, told them how we felt about something we’ve read that provoked interest and they in turn, told us what they thought? What if they believed or thought of a situation in an entirely different way? How would that impact you? Change you? Give you another perspective once you went back and talked to your friends?

Look, I know the internet isn’t supposed to work this way. But what if we used it as a tool to begin serious, thoughtful conversations, versus knee jerk reactions? What if we began to change hearts and minds with those conversations?  Or what if no hearts or minds were changed, but we were simply exposed to a different point of view? It would be the equivalent of 10,000 cups of coffee being shared by thousands of people representing the start of a real democratic revolution that may get us back to civility, sanity and respect for one another. Hence the name of this blog. Hence the challenge.

For those who want to broaden the conversation, you can post the result of interesting conversations that you have with others on, CitySquare’s Public Policy Facebook Group. But I would encourage you to have the face-to-face conversations first and let’s try and change this world!

Are you up for the challenge?