Who Sets the Tone

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Yesterday I spoke to some pastors about Let’s Go Together. We invited their community to participate and to connect us to a leader or two that could take part in the LGT Planning Team. Like almost all leaders, they were very concerned about the loss of trust in each other, and the heated divisions in our society. As we talked I realized, again, that most people don’t want to live like this. For decades at least, our public conversation has been dominated by people on the extremes. We see only the bad news about each other. And then different groups often don’t interact enough. When we don’t know and work for the common good with people of diverse cultures and traditions we allow the extremes and the bad news to set the tone for us.

LGT is an attempt to help the vast majority of human beings to set the tone for a more hopeful future.

Most people don’t want to live in such a disconnected, disjointed, and fearful world. When people know each other, work for the common good, and respect each other in public we can set a different tone for our communities. Studies show that when people experience each other across lines of difference that they share the story with 20 people. So imagine that 50 people get together to eat and share stories, work together, and show up together in public. This means that not only will 50 people have the experience. but 1000 people will hear about it from them.

Together we can set a more hopeful tone for our communities, one that people are desperate to hear.

And here is the key: this is a simple, repeatable, and powerful strategy. We know how to host a potluck. We know how to do a work day. We know how to put on a tee-shirt and walk together.

And here is a second key: it’s fun!

We don’t have to let the negative news and the people on the extremes be so powerful. We can reclaim the narrative for our own community and set a hopeful tone about our community and our common future.

Photo by Hobi industri on Unsplash