009 I am not against Kamala. I might be for Pete.


I am not against Kamala. I might be for Pete.

I’ve been involved in a process of trying to evaluate how the first Gathering Resilience event went. Part of that evaluation is making sense of how it might be situated in relation to other conversations that I’m participating in, at least as a consumer.

There’s something in this about the white body. I’m not sure what yet, something. Overall, I think the event went well, and there were some pretty stressful dynamics. For me, anyway. I mean, I hope the stress was behind the scenes and other folks weren’t aware of it. And we got through them. We did a really risky thing, we did a couple of potentially risky things, but the riskiest thing we did I think was call out whiteness in the icebreaker and trusted the group would hold that. And the group held it actually really well. And I think the young people who got to experience facilitating a small group of adults, people older than them, the Gen Xers. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, who are we? The Baby Boomers. This is like an opportunity for the current youth, the activated youth, an opportunity to practice facilitating a conversation with Baby Boomers, because that’s the conversation that has any kind of hope.

I mean, there’s all the rest of the conversations, and they matter, they’re important, and they have their moments, but young people are growing a movement to change the economy. And changing the economy requires Baby Boomers to help, to become drivers of the change, not just passive participants in whatever doesn’t happen or is prevented from happening, and riding along in this comfortable current of whiteness, white privilege. It’s a big deal. I think it’s a big deal. But it’s not so easy to shift your body out of that current, right? You’ve been in it for a long time, and you’ve been variously aware of it. There’s no way that becoming aware of it is going to be a piece of cake. There’s so much stuff associated with it, historical, deep history, familial, autobiographical history, and this whole social context that situates those histories and biographies.

Yeah, so anyway, I think the event ended up going really well despite some really stressful stuff. I mean, the facilitators I think were confused for a little bit, but they just held it together and waited, and delivered. And the young people, so far, I’m still going to do my follow up soon, but their initial energy was pretty good. I think they grew somehow or exercised a muscle in a way that worked. I don’t know. But I hope so, I think so, I’m going to follow up. And that was my kind of baseline indicator of success, is how the five young people who were facilitators felt. And then there’s all the rest of it.

So, anyway, yeah, and I’m just thinking about this because actually the single most effective part of the entire design was the barn dance. Yeah. It’s really true. That’s it. It was just the best thing. And it came, I don’t know, but it came at a good moment. Maybe it wasn’t the perfect moment or the ideal moment, the moment that it should always happen, but the timing was correct. And the energy I think went up until that point.

And then the second groups, eh, not so much. I mean, the conversations that happened in them were good. Actually, maybe the second groups might’ve been okay. But then there was more work after that. And I think that that’s not what I want to do in the future. And I was trying to avoid that, but it wasn’t clear how to do it. I really needed help. I needed partners to talk through different perspectives on it, and we just didn’t have much time to do that, to get those kind of a capstone, “How do you close and transition it in a good way?” So the evaluation process is all I have right now for doing that, and everybody’s got their own experience of going through the day, and then whatever’s happened since, and whether it’s been something that has stayed in memory or you just moved on.

So yeah, so the evaluation process. And it’s just … What are the other conversations I’m involved within, because, okay, so we had a good internal conversation, we had a group level interaction at a micro-social, interpersonal scale that has relevance for who’s going to be the next president. And how much mandate will there be? How much evidence for a mandate? And it isn’t even evidence of a mandate, right? Because evidence can be manipulated. It’s how big of a measurable shift will we create for the economy? There has to be incentives of the right kind that will make it meaningful for corporations to retool. We’ve done it for war. We did it to get to the moon.

So the conversation, it seems to me, at the national level and the international level, that is at the global scale, at the scale of solution, that conversation is being driven by youth activists, since Standing Rock. I mean, that’s when it started.

So yeah, anyway, this is I guess my first public report on the first Gathering Resilience.


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