We’re working with one of the biggest civil society umbrella groups in the US that have had a longstanding commitment to supporting leadership development within civil society. With some encouragement and support from us, they’ve taken the bold stand that there’s a new dimension to leadership development, and it is this inner work. We’re working with them to first take that message into civil society, but then, necessarily, to begin to build the ecosystem of supports for that inner work. Hopefully, that can support, at scale, a rapidly growing number of leaders at the community state, national level.
We're also bringing together faith leaders across the faith spectrum, which in our country also means across the political spectrum, and inviting them to reflect on why is it that so often their communities have shown up in our public conversation as part of the polarizing dynamic, when surely their faith commitments compel all of them to be part of the reconciling solution. We’re working with all communities to change in the context of our next presidential election, with the hope that faith leaders across politics will stand together and say the most urgent priority all of us are compelled to have is reconciliation.
I’m optimistic actually because I think anybody who is awake and has children or grandchildren, realizes that we can't go on like this. We have to go to a deeper level and recover a shared moral vision of the society we’re trying to create. None of us has all the answers. We have to listen to each other; we have to come together.
Q: Is that how you came to be involved with the Spirit of Humanity Forum? How did that relationship evolve?
Exactly, and that really goes back to the vision of a merging global movement. One of the most important things that need to happen to accelerate that movement is that we need to find each other. Those of us who are committed to this vision need to find each other and support each other because there’s tremendous empowerment in knowing that we’re not alone in this. Together we can support each other and make a difference.
Fetzer has been connected with the Forum since 2014, but this is my first time to be here. I’m taking away new relationships and new energy that are not going to be one-offs. I have committed to a number of people here that we’re going to get together and figure out how we can support each other in our work. So that’s one thing, the connection.
But now, let’s go back to this “Shared Sacred Story” idea that we are creating here. We’re creating the language to take this vision out into the world, and I think that’s tremendously important. We’re creating very open, spacious language, and our vision of this Shared Sacred Story is that it’s not one story, it’s a meta-narrative, if you will, that has plenty of room for each tradition to tell their version of the sacred story. Also, people who are on this journey but don’t identify with one of the major traditions, are in that wonderful place where they can draw on the riches of all the traditions. You can feel it in the freedom of this gathering; we’re finding a language that is spacious enough to bring us all to a common ground without any of us having to abandon the depth of our particular story. I think that’s a wonderful, exciting thing to be part of.
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