Brave Connection - Golden Rule Conversations

Overview
Strengthening Connections and Practicing the Golden Rule during Crisis

The coronavirus has touched everyone in some way, separating us, causing loss and uncertainty, preventing us from celebrating or even grieving together. On top of this global crisis, communities are experiencing civil unrest. 

While the pandemic brought some of us closer through shared sacrifice and helping each other, social conflict can rip us apart. In all this, many of us are realizing how disconnected we had become from our families, neighbors, and communities. We all want our nation to open again in a peaceful and healthy way, with dignity and respect for each other across our differences. We also want to keep our hearts open and create stronger relationships and communities than we had before. 

Applying the principle of the Golden Rule, to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”  helps in creating those stronger relationships.  It serves as a reminder that each person is a human being and is created in the image and likeness of the Divine. Treating someone with dignity and respect changes the nature of the conversation and opens up the possibility of real communication that can strengthen relationships.

Brave Connections was created to help people weave communities where we can all feel at home.




Round 1 (~15 minutes)

Getting Started

Arrival 
As people join the video call, let’s say hello and chat for a few minutes until all have arrived. Here are some tips for making our video call go smoothly:
  • Turn on your video if you can, so we can see each other
  • Use a headset or earbuds if you have them
  • Call in by phone separately (and mute your computer) if your internet is unsteady
 
Welcome 
Introduce yourself with your name, where you live, and answer one of these questions:
  • What is one thing about you that a person wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at you?
  • Who do you admire most in your life and why?
  • What is a spiritual lesson you’ve learned and how does it shape how you see the world today?
Our time together 
Let’s agree on how we will show up to create an atmosphere for open, honest conversation. We can read these aloud and remind each other, if we need to.
  • Stay present
    • Avoid checking messages, email or any other distractions
  • Listen first with curiosity
    • Don’t try to convince anyone of anything: Our purpose is to understand
    • Share the air. Step back and give others a chance to be heard
  • Suspend judgment
    • We are all on our own journeys and shaped by our experiences. Let’s give each other the benefit of the doubt and be patient if the tech gets glitchy.
Round 2 (~30 minutes)

Life in Stressful Times

Quick Warm-up
Share one or two words that describe how you are feeling during the pandemic and the current unrest.
 
An Earlier Challenging Time
We all have endured challenges. One of the assumptions of this conversation is our faith can be a source of refuge and inspiration in the midst of adversity...Who wants to share a story?
  • Describe when you have faced a challenge in life before, how faith helped you through it, and what lessons or strengths you may have gained from it.

What has life been like for you the last several months?  
Let’s go around the group and respond to one or two of these questions. 
  • What, if anything, has been hard for you during this period?
  • What, if anything, gives you hope for the future?
  • What do you feel vulnerable about right now?
Round 3 (~15 minutes)

Growing through challenge

Lessons from This Experience
From what we shared about the good and bad of challenging times...
  • Is there something about yourself or your community you’ve learned that makes you want to live differently?
  • How could a regular practice of the golden rule strengthen that?
Round 4 (~10 minutes)

Wrap-up

Quick Tasks
  • Let’s take a group photo/screenshot to remember this talk
  • Do we want to meet again to continue the conversation?
 
Final Thoughts
Let’s go around one last time:
  • Share something you are taking from today’s conversation and a step you might take to be part of a more connected community.
 
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