Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Place Where We Are Right

The Place Where We Are Right
by Yehuda Amichai
From the place where we are right
flowers will never grow
in the Spring.
The place where we are right
is hard and trampled
like a yard.
But doubts and loves
dig up the world
like a mole, a plough.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
where the ruined
house once stood.

This is a poem by one of Israel's leading poets. It's short and simple, but speaks deeply, reminding us that nothing new can grow between us when we speak to each other from "the place where we are right."
It also leads to a very important question for our politically charged age: How might things change if we began our political conversations not from our certainties, but from our "doubts and loves"?
  • People who differ politically love the same things — our children and grandchildren, our country, the natural world. 
  • Many who differ politically harbor the same doubts — that what's being done (or not done) to care for the things we love is the best or the right thing to do.
  • Yes, people may differ on what the best political solution is. But what if, instead of starting by arguing over solutions — over "the place where we are right" — we began by sharing our loves and doubts? 
  • I suspect that our political conversations would be much more productive because they would proceed from common ground.
based on a note from Parker Palmer

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