conversation is an engine

A lot can happen in a conversation

It’s the end of this blog as we know it.

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A blog ended.

Please Say More.

And I feel fine.

We’ve come to the end of our Social Media Marketing class.

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In this class, our intent was to explore what it means to reach outside our bubble. Some of us focused on reaching into areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul that we’ve never been to. Some of us focused on asking questions and entertaining discussions across intellectual and empathic boundaries. Some of us looked at gender and sexual identities, others reached across religious boundaries to visit mosques and temples. Others looked inside and found the great fear of moving outside–a fear we could all agree on.

We noticed that something happened when we reached out: the people and the stories we encountered humanized issues. We started to see flesh and blood beings with histories and hopes and humor and fears. People just like us.

Plus: we realized reaching across boundaries and through bubbles requires humility.

C…

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Written by kirkistan

March 3, 2018 at 9:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE—THE STORY TELLS ME SO

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via Every Story Its Own

Written by kirkistan

February 15, 2018 at 8:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

And if no one reaches back?

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What if we reach out and no one reaches back?

Please Say More.

Keep Reaching.

I pay a compliment with a silent expectation that it will return. I give a gift in the same way. When the word or gift does not return I am hurt, though I try to talk myself out of that response. After all, the gift is for the recipient, not the giver.

Why am I hurt? Maybe my intention was wrong. Maybe I was fishing for a compliment rather than simply wanting to give. Maybe I envisioned a more generous version of me, a me who gave without expecting something in return. But the reality was a more a needy version of me—someone eager for kudos.

Social media shares similarities with gift economies: both are about presenting a bit of work to someone else. We present something we value to others as a gift. Maybe the gift comes back, maybe it doesn’t. In our more generous moments…

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Written by kirkistan

February 5, 2018 at 10:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

I’m Planning a Jailbreak

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My social media marketing class is writing about what it’s like to reach across our borders and boundaries, at guided-by-voices.com.

Please Say More.

Don’t look for the file in the cake

I’ve been watching the guards’ patterns and taking measurements and laying plans. I’ve made contact with the getaway vehicle and the man driving it.

untitled503976052902.jpg Don’t be your own jailer.

I’m just not sure who’s in jail: me or my friend.

In our Social Media Marketing class, we talked about a Jesus story where he asked a question that crossed at least three boundaries: racial, religious, and gender. Crossing those three boundaries surprised nearly everyone in the story because none of those boundaries was proper to cross.

  • In asking that question. Jesus’s crew saw a despised person in a very different light.
  • With that question, the despised person saw she wasn’t despised and in fact was welcomed as an insider.
  • With that question, a village dropped their spite and stepped forward alongside the outcast

All because of a short Q & A that…

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I want to write. Am I doomed to be a barista?

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Check out my post at the University of Northwestern.

Written by kirkistan

April 28, 2017 at 4:13 pm

3 Ways to Escape Your Tribe

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I love ya. I gotta go.

You’ve started to entertain the notion that keeping identity with your tribe makes less sense than ever before. And you wonder at your own sanity because the facts before you do not match the story your tribe keeps telling:

  • Maybe your tribe believes one person in your office has nothing good to say, but you think otherwise.
  • Maybe your tribe is willing to look the other way as the elected official—whom the tribe helped elect—continues to lie, goes against the sacred center of your tribe’s beliefs and behaves increasingly erratically.
  • Maybe your tribe shuts down alternate readings of your sacred text because those readings don’t suit the current ideological goals of the people calling the shots.manysigns-2-20170126

For these and any number of other reasons, it may be time to leave your tribe. But how? It’s tricky, because most of your friends and your family friends and friends of your friends are in the tribe. Maybe you spend all your time with these people. Maybe you live with these people. But here are three starting points:

  1. Check in with soul-friends. You know people who are like-minded and are driven less by ideology and more by relationship and caring. Find these folks and build trust with them. Spend time with them and share your concerns. Ask questions together and see if a new story emerges.
  2. Read and talk widely. Get different opinions from diverse people. Look for ways to read books that challenge the orthodoxy. The good news about challenge is that what is true remains while what is false slips away. But reading is best when you share points of interest with others—especially with those soul-friends. Look for opportunities to step outside your tribe: the person at work or in class who is clearly coming from a different perspective. Who knows where friendship and insight might come from? Actively seek others with questions, remember that you are not alone with your questions.
  3. Have Faith and Take Courage. Hold your core your beliefs firmly and ask questions of the periphery. This is the time-honored way of artists, writers, thinkers, activists and leaders. See where the questions lead—this is the way of sanity and art. Turning a blind eye to inconsistencies and discontinuities leads to a very bad place, a place where reality differs from tribal knowledge.

There is a way forward and you will find it.

Good luck and God-speed.

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Image: Kirk Livingston

Thinking First: Preparing for the Difficult Conversation

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Check out my guest post on the Essential Partners blog:

difficultconversation-20170105

 

http://www.whatisessential.org/blog/thinking-first-preparing-difficult-conversation

Written by kirkistan

January 5, 2017 at 3:48 pm

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