As I’ve sat around watching our political process utterly distort the issues and challenges facing us today, I asked myself if there was a better way we could communicate and come to some sort of rational consensus that would allow us to move forward. For 37 yrs. I’ve been a teacher of emotionally challenged students. The issues that I’ve had to deal with are a microcosm of the major problems in our society, addiction, abuse, disabilities, and so on. To overcome those challenges, I’ve had to rely on the bravery, dedication and strengths of my peers, my students, their families and myself. The politics of the families and staff range all over the political spectrum. I am happy to report that all of us, regardless of political affiliation, have reserves of strength that would surprise you.
I joined the Empathy Tent because I think that truly listening to each other will build the feeling of community and cohesion that we need to successfully confront the challenges that we face. My experience in practicing with listening circles has given me new faith in my fellow humans and their struggles. I urge all to try participating in one of our reflective listening exercises and see if you don’t feel closer to that sense of community.