After almost a year of diminished physical connection with each other, the tender fractures between us seem to be calcifying. Personal isolation exacerbated by the pandemic is giving way to pervasive distrust.
Just as this distrust spirals up from our personal relationships to our institutions, so too must the antidote to distrust—listening and seeking to understand those we’re quick to judge—begin in intimate spaces.
After all, our most painful divides aren’t felt at the red-blue state level, but in our own families and neighborhoods.
There’s a Buddhist proverb that orients our team each week. It perfectly captures that paradox of this work: “There is little time, therefore we must proceed very slowly.”
Change moves at the speed of relationships, and relationships move at the speed of trust. So we restore trust relationship by relationship, slowly but urgently. We hold this person and this conversation reverently, with an eye ever-present to the future we’re birthing together.
So much of this movement is about creating civic technologies that are easily accessible to wide swaths of people, helping us soften our eyes towards each other.
Timing matters in social change, and there are key factors that make this our all-hands-on-deck moment. We must seize it. If you’ve been wanting to get involved, we urge you pick of these upcoming offerings and get started:
- AllSides Talks on January 23 – Join as hundreds of people from across America meet for one-on-one and small group conversations to discuss issues that matter to all Americans across political divides.
- LRC Live: Trust on January 27 – Attend this live-stream conversation where our guests from education, media, and public health explore all facets of building trust in their lives. Register HERE.
- Introduction to Living Room Conversations – Join our weekly call to learn how you can get started, and meet others interested in this work.
Our righteous indignation seems easier to flame than our compassion. But these civic technologies will help us find our way out of our towers of isolation, back towards real people, who we might not quite be ready to trust, but who up close, are so much harder to hate.