Instead of resigning ourselves to our current situations, we can dream and build new possibilities. This is hope in action. In this way, hope is an energy source that resides in each of us. It is a type of knowing beyond the five senses of touch, smell, sight, hearing, and taste. When we hold hope in our hearts and minds–when we hold the vision or dream of something new, better and more life-giving–we are compelled to move toward it. We have a choice: to keep hope alive or to give in to doubt and let hope fade away, calling it a waste of time, useless daydreaming and overly optimistic thinking.
Background Information:This conversation is adapted in part from themes from The Four Sacred Gifts: Indigenous Wisdom for Modern Times, by Anita L. Sanchez, PhD. It is part of a series including Healing, Forgiveness, and Unity.
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Hope (~40 min)
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk. After everyone has answered, the group may take a few minutes for clarifying or follow up questions/responses. Continue exploring additional questions as time allows..
- How do you experience hope? What do you have hope for?
- What have you seen as the benefits or dangers of hoping or having a dream for something to get better?
- Have you experienced a personal or collective sense of hope in action? What happened?
- Where do you struggle to feel hopeful? What is the impact of that in your life?
- What has happened when your hope and trust in your vision or dream is different than what other people, or the facts, told you to believe?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?