So last night I met with my community and we read a letter together. I appreciated the letter so much, I found a way to put the whole thing in my journal.
Among the many bits that struck me in this letter, there’s one in particular I wanted to talk about.
How can we engage in “meaningful conversations” with the greatest possible number of our fellow citizens, representing the rich diversity of our nation?
For one, I’m just starting out with this blog and I find myself trying to balance on this idea. I want what I post to be meaningful, but I also want it to be able to speak to a diverse group of people.
But besides a personal, “I’m a blogger now” level, it also made me contemplate the use of the word citizens. Now, I’m sure by citizens, this quote is referring more to inhabitants and not just legal citizens. But I’m also surprised that the word community wasn’t used instead. So often I hear people within my spiritual group refer to community to mean that spiritual group, but I also hear them use the word to refer to the people who live in the same areas of us- sometimes instead using the term “wider community.” This confusion has been so expected by me that such an elegant solution seemed startling. “Our fellow citizens” captures our relationship to the people we interact with every day. We may think we have no relationship with people we pass at the convenience store or in our cars but, like us, they are a contributing to the society we live in. We’re all on the same team, trying to make things as good as they can get in whatever way we see fit. It may just be my liberal arts background, but I see the word citizen and I think “societal partner.”
And what better way to interact with people in a meaningful way?
We must value the diverse opinions of our fellow citizens, or we will never be able to engage in meaningful conversations. I think that’s part of the “How”. As far as “the greatest possible number”-hopefully blogging helps a little.
I’d love to hear your own answer to this question!
A Half Hollow Reed
BONUS PICTURE OF MY JOURNAL SPREAD:
On the left is an attempt at the word Grandeur(Azamat) in Farsi, my to-dos, and the reading I shared. The letter on the right was cropped, folded, and then each page is held in with washi tape.