Literacies Circle: No Words…or More Words?

Our collective hearts in Michigan were broken last week as we send our thoughts, prayers, and urgent calls for policy and action to the families and communities of Oxford. As we wrangle our way through pandemic surges, we are continuing to wrap our heads around senseless acts of violence that could occur in any school in our nation.

There have been much hurt, shouting, demands, and fear, not only about gun control but also vaccines, masking, race, curriculum, and books. It certainly seems that people have lost their minds. However, compassionate conversation, even if it’s filled with uncomfortable worries, anger, and tears, is crucial toward balancing our freedom and democracy. And toward building relationships and our collective humanity.

But once a weapon of sorts—a gun, vehicle, or items that are used to harm or kill—is placed in the lap of a conversation, the power dynamic certainly changes…

and often with tragic results.

Compassionate conversation? What does that look like?

Here are resources to start:

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life

International Institute for Restorative Practices

Be the Sun, Not the Salt

What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In? (New York Times)

Why is it so hard to Change People’s Minds?

Participate in your neighborhood, town, or city initiatives on civility with an open mind and gentle heart. Instead of carrying a savior mindset or weaponizing the programs, read up and listen.

Go beyond media algorithms, memes, and headlines. Take time to read and reflect on things more than just 280 characters.

Listen all around you.

Really listen.

Ensure yourself self-care…rest and grace.

And while you hug your children and loved ones tightly,

hug your neighbors, near and far, with kindness and gentleness that we all need…even if they are worried, angry, or hurt.

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