July 2018
No. 72


Welcome to the Fearless Conversations newsletter -- information and ideas to support and inspire us to make fearless conversations common in our workplaces, communities,
families and friendships.

This month I simply want to honor the fearless conversations we are having and must have about the immigration crisis in our country. We
all have an abundance of things to read, stories to listen to and resources to direct us to action. Let us support and encourage one another in unleashing the power of empathy in our country.

As always, thank you for reading and sharing this newsletter ~
Unleash the Power of Empathy
The separation of children from their parents seeking asylum in our country is digging deeply into the moral fiber of our individual and collective beings. Conversations are shifting with people talking about what they own as a moral issue, not solely a political one.

The challenge is great. When we think and feel deeply about what we hold as a moral issue, we are "at the ready", more than ever, to react and to judge. In spite of our best intentions to connect with others, where moral issues are concerned, it feels nearly impossible to replace abhorrence, anger and determination with appreciation, wonder and curiosity. We are more prone to exclaim in exasperation something like: "Oh, give me a break!" (putting it mildly) than to inquire gently: "Can you tell me more about how you got to that opinion?" Sometimes we have to give up on "getting on the same page". Rather than dwell in a state of outrage and intolerance, we can choose to accept our common complicated humanity, and move forward with what our minds and hearts urge us to do.

In a way we are living in a moment of opportunity. With the tearing at our moral fiber, we are finding ways to talk about what matters to us at our core. Sometimes we find connections with one another that we didn't know before this American tragedy. Certainly, the images and sounds of babies and young children being separated from their parents stir us to talk with one another about decency, our American values, our history and heritage. Our core has been shaken and the power of empathy for the children and their parents has moved us to march, flood Congress with calls, and raise millions of dollars to fund legal costs for immigrant families.

The voices and cries of children and youth pluck at the heart strings of empathy. Since the rising up of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, much has been said about the power of youth. We are heartened by their March for Our Lives campaign. You may or may not have heard students from their drama department perform at the 2018 Tony Awards recently. They sang Season of Love from Rent. I hope you can take two minutes to have your heart lifted and listen to the Parkland Students at the Tony Awards

Just as I was wrapping up this message, Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder landed on my computer screen. It was as if they were saying: "Share us! Share us!" They say it all! Open the link below. May the power of empathy burst forth! 
Empathy Tip
Quick tip  bulb icon  isolated on cyan blue square button with red ribbon in corner abstract illustration
When "the heat is on" around moral and political issues and we want to do our best to connect with
someone who holds an opposing view, it helps to step back and take time to view the individual(s) in another light. That is, take the person(s) out of the polarizing caricature, box or frame we might have them in. Take some moments to immerse ourselves in their qualities that we can genuinely appreciate and maybe enjoy. Let those qualities soften the edges of our anger, frustration, exasperation. This way we can turn down the heat in us a little and set ourselves up for a better outcome.

Hayward CA 94544
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