Of All The Possibilities, We Choose Hope

This holiday season, as we reflect back on a difficult and transformational year, we’re filled with gratefulness for the many new kinds of conversation, the many new people, the many new questions emerging from all corners of the globe.

One of the great stories of 2020, and likely of our generation, are the ruptures exposed by our pandemic and the unfolding racial reckoning, compounded by a divisive election. Stuck at home, with little to distract us but our hopes and our fears, we saw with fresh eyes our neighborhoods, our society, our planet.

Feeling understandably overwhelmed and afraid, some of us dug in and gripped tightly to what we felt we could control.

But what we learned from so many of you this year is that a different response was just as possible.

Taking in the vastness of our challenges, you turned to each other and asked, what on earth can we do? You created spaces to have deep, open, searching conversations about who we are, what we’re made of, and where we’re going.

You’ve helped write another 2020 story. It’s a story of renewed vigor and energy for conversation, understanding, and repair.

We’re heartened to see the growing interest, not only for Living Room Conversations, but for the good and necessary offerings from our rich network of partners.

If you were moved to change your relationship with technology after watching “The Social Dilemma,” you can join Friday’s conversation hosted by the Center for Humane Technology, which was featured in the documentary.  Our Joan Blades will be joining other leaders to discuss healing divisions amplified by social media.

Whether you’re interested in conversations about restoring civic trust, gatherings to nourish civic love, participating in multifaith encounters, or using an app to diversify your news intake, opportunities abound. These are but a handful of offerings just this week from our movement that goes by many names–bridging, weaving, restoring the common good.

It’s a movement that is as instructive in its structure as in its content. It’s a new organizing framework that shifts us from a pyramid towards a circle.

In a circle, interdependence replaces independence. Fragmentation gives way to shared gifts. Silos weaken. An alternative future grounded in abundance becomes possible.

Many Living Room Conversations include a question about hopes and fears regarding the topic at hand. In this wondrous new decade of our young century, our simple-but-not-easy hope is a shared discovery of courage bigger than our fears that moves us closer and closer towards each other.


Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing

and rightdoing there is a field.

I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass

the world is too full to talk about.

– Rumi  


Wishing you peace this holiday season.

Shannon Mannon

Newsletter Editor