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Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life was written in conjunction with Karen Armstrong’s TED Prize which provided funds and other resources to fulfill a wish. Armstrong’s wish resulted in the Charter for Compassion, an international organization. A couple of weeks ago, I received an invitation from the Charter to join the American Citizen’s Summit. I thought, at the time, that it was a Charter production, but it turns out to be hosted by a variety of American entities that specialize in transpartisan thought and activity.
The American Citizen’s Summit is online and free, using a platform provided by The Shift Network. From what I can tell, it’s going to be a bunch of speakers in audio plus discussion on the Shift Network’s Facebook page. The first session is Monday night. That will be followed by sessions throughout the day and evening on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I plan to listen to as many as possible in real time, but will likely use my early morning hours to catch up on what I missed the evening before.
Will you join me in the American Citizen’s Summit to think about how we can heal the broken places in the system that make our democracy function less than optimally? Or to phrase that more positively, let’s work “to build bridges across divides and implement effective solutions for co-creating our communities and our country.”
I’m particularly interested in these issues because I’ve suddenly found myself thrust in a situation where I’m sitting at a table with people I don’t agree with. I’m way out of my element, here, and I haven’t reached the later steps of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life that will help me develop compassion for people who I perceive as the enemy. I’m hoping the American Citizen’s Summit will provide me with some tools for speaking and listening across the divide.