HAVING THE CONVERSATIONS
Since writing “Nowhere to Run”, I’ve been inviting folks up to my studio to talk with me about how they’re feeling and how they see Bermuda’s social problems. I was amazed by the number of people who stopped to type a response. One woman in particular explained very clearly to me that “The Problem” is not linear. I knew it and I didn’t. Intellectually I knew it, but it’s easy to forget and lump everything together. I was very glad she reminded me.
I know that the conversations about our community are happening everywhere. If you find that your conversations leave you depressed or gloomy, most likely they need to be helped along with strategies which will change the ways in which we engage in the conversation.
One of the ground rules that you might employ to help ensure that things don’t degenerate into a blame-driven conversation may be to :
Ask : Do I own a part of the problem, any part at all?
Ask : What skills do I have?
Ask: How many hours per week do I want to give toward healing Bermuda?
Keep in mind that we are committed to being honest and not saying what we think others want to hear.
If anyone says he/she doesn’t feel that they are part of the problem, accept it and thank them for their honesty. We can’t ask people to be honest and then be unwilling to accept their answer.
I am suggesting that we can identify our skills. Based on the number of hours we each want to contribute, we can explore creative approaches to the healing process. I’m thinking of an online site where we contribute. I wonder what kinds of entrees we could cook up?
How would you like to employ your skills? What if collectively we were able to create an Information and Advice Centre? The advice and “How- To” could focus on issues like Making Homework time Enriching, Advice for Young Mothers, How to talk to Your Child, What to do when you recognize you or your child is out of control, How to Cook Smart, How to develop Cell Phone Rules, A Dad Help Desk and anything else that could enrich our lives. Learning to Spend Time Together. There are people who need what you want to share. The cool thing is, you probably don’t need to leave home to do this sharing. Wouldn’t it be lovely to contribute from home in your pajamas with a cup of hot chocolate in your hands? We don’t need to get bogged down in committees.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER
Some of us are great organizers who know how to create systems which bring order to our lives. Some of us are good at creating systems to help households run smoother. If chaos is running our homes, no wonder we don’t feel like going there at the end of the day. Your granny may not have a computer but she might have some advice she’d like to contribute, your contribution might be to be the scribe for her and submit it on her behalf.
Groceries are expensive. Do you want to share what cuts of meat you buy, how you cook and freeze dinners to eliminate the stress of having to cook every day? We have not all come from well run households. We lack certain skills. There are folks who would appreciate this kind of assistance. Retired teachers, may come on board, retired police, auto mechanics any and every one who has a desire to contribute.
We may develop an advice desk for Grandparents who find themselves in the role of custodial parents. They have unique needs. Who among us has something positive to share with them? This is about sharing successes, and useful information which will improve the quality of our lives. It’s not about going out there to “sort them out”. We are in effect sorting ourselves, and each other out, and it’s all web based, fluid, and virtually cost free.
We can help people we may never meet. We can be the community we hunger for. We can give anonymously. We can be a socially-conscious E-moo, or a Conscious-Minded Face Book. Your discussions may yield something completely different. I certainly am not wedded to any particular concept. I’ve written this because I believe that discussing what might be, what could be will allow us to step into a place of possibilities and out of fear and paralysis. We need to keep it simple and be excited. We have an opportunity to create something of purpose.
Thank you for reading Bermuda. Thanks for passing this on.