Humbled and Hopeful


Seventy people of diverse cultures, traditions, and life experiences came together last Thursday at our first LGT event. We gathered for food and conversation and found something more: hope.

We live in a time of deep despair about the inequalities among humans our separation from each other. Many of us wonder if there is anything we can do. Kay and I met with people as they left. Many expressed that they were more hopeful about our common future. We found that hope together and in each other. We found the power of a human strategy: When we know, work with, and honor one another in public we realize that we don’t have to live divided–even in the midst of our differences.

Kay, Viveka, I and others in our county worked for eighteen months to cast a vision and build trust. We worked hard on the planning of the event, creating space for these incredible people to get to know each other. Leaders in many communities invited their people to attend.

Each person who attended had a different journey to walk. Some wondered if it would make any difference. Others had to work through historical and personal trauma from bad experiences with people of other traditions and cultures. But as they met, talked, listened, shared food, they began to relax, they started to laugh, they began to feel lighter in the company of fellow humans.

As we began to close the event, we asked people to share out loud what they experienced.

  • One said that she tried to stay in the safety of the indigenous community. But she realized that she had more friends than she realized. She said she didn’t want to come because of all the bad experiences she had had. But now she hopes to relate to more people in the broader community.
  • Another said that he wasn’t sure if he could wear the clothing of his tradition at this event. After being there, he said that he would come next time wearing the clothing of his tradition. Now he understood he would be accepted and embraced.
  • Many talked to us personally about what the event meant, and how they felt new hope for humanity. People began to take photos together, share their contact information, and planned their first coffee.

The staff, board, and I are humbled and hopeful. We are humbled that people who have experienced harm in our county had the courage and determination to risk themselves in love. We are hopeful that this human strategy can help us through the challenges of this next year, this next decade.

We have what we need: each other.

In each neighborhood there are organizations, clubs, wisdom communities, and individuals with good hearts, willing to learn and grow. What would happen if they got together, knowing, working with, and publicly honoring each other?

People in the larger community would sense the burden of despair lifting, realizing that we are better together, we help each other in this way.