On blind spots, poor communication, fear

A friend of mine shared this TED Talk on Facebook earlier today. I watched it back in the summer when it first came out, but, as my friend pointed out, it bears watching again in light of our presidential election this week.

In a nutshell, it’s about blind spots and failing to acknowledge experiences of others. Poor communication. Globalization and fear.

About half way through the talk, Alexander Betts, states:

“Globalization has been taken to support a neo-liberal agenda. It’s perceived to be part of an elite agenda, rather than something that benefits all, and it needs to be reclaimed on a far more inclusive basis than it is today.

So the question is, how can we achieve that goal? How can we balance, on the one hand, addressing fear and alienation, while on the other hand refusing – vehemently – to give in to xenophobia and nationalism? That is the question.”

Next steps

On the “About” page of this website, there is a little blurb explaining that I use this space “to share my thoughts about not-for-profit organizations, civic engagement, and how we govern ourselves.” We all have seen yesterday’s election results. For better or worse, I now have no shortage of material to discuss here.

Getting together, working together

I stumbled, sleep deprived, into a local coffee shop this morning and ran into a woman who told me about a post-election anti-celebration scheduled for lunchtime today in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Attendees were instructed to wear black and to use the session as an opportunity to get out the grief and anger about the election.

Group therapy is a good first step. Indeed, the opportunity to be with others and come to grips with what just happened seemed to be why most people were in the coffee shop this morning.

Then what? I like to keep moving, looking for solutions to complex problems rather than being immobilized by them.

To me, the next step seems to get together again, but with the goal of finding ways to move forward. That’s what I’ll be working on over the next few days (something I did not have the foresight to put on Monday’s post).

Running for office

Posts on Pantsuit Nation, the “secret group” on Facebook, shifted overnight from hope for a Hillary Clinton victory to questions about what comes next. Several women posted questions about how to run for office. How do we get started? Where can we get training?

As someone who has held elected offices for the last several years, the idea of getting more people into office is near and dear to my heart. My contribution to one of the Pantsuit Nation questions was to check out the “Political & Leadership Resource Map” on the website of Rutgers University’s Center for American Women and Politics.

A local option is LIPPI – the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact – a program of the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts.

Early days

These steps – getting together for support, making plans for things we can do as a community,  and actively participating – are the first thoughts that come to my mind on the morning after. As time goes on, I look forward to hearing from others about how we can go forward to create a country that is welcoming and safe for all of us.

© 2017 Beth Bandy

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