There was another reading this morning, a poem by William Stafford, that had particular resonance for me. It starts like this:
If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.
The poem speaks to me of a number of things… It points to the kind of knowing about each other we can have through dialogue (whether it be face to face or on-line), as well as to the importance of conversation deep enough to let us ‘know what kind of person’ we each are.
The kind of person who has gathered for for this Stewardship dialogue, and I suspect the kind of person you who are reading this are, is a person who cares about humanity and recognizes the transformative value and necessity of conversations that matter.
Today, on our last full day, the dialogue felt very rich, with a beautiful morning process followed by an afternoon of two consecutive small group sessions. Many of them, like the first group I was part of, focused on the practical details of the ‘minimum elegant next steps’ for stewarding the World Café as it goes forward and continues to evolve. There will be reports on the results, and these conversations will no doubt continue – here and on the World Cafe online community, on phone calls and emails, in small groups and inside us – distilling and clarifying what is needed and what each of us is called to do.
My second small group was in relation to a question called by Peggy Holman, about caring for the ‘Community of Communities’, organizations who care about dialogue and ‘conversations that matter’. It was a far-ranging discussion about the philosophical importance and functional purposes of connecting and collaborating with each other, exploring what supporting such a community might look like.
At one point we started to make a list of all the organizations each of us knew about that fit the definition of caring about dialogue and conversations that matter. With such a broadly representative group of organizationally experienced folks to draw from, the list of international organizations we were collectively part of or worked with quickly filled several pages. The sense was that we’d like to continue that process and really see the scope of the evolutionary movement that the World Cafe is one part of, and what we are capable of doing together that we cannot do alone.