LISTENING TO AMERICA
AS ONE WORLD
“The America I want Is…” program is about individual expression, collective listening and citizen involvement. It’s an idea as important now as at any time in our country’s history. We at Linley Foundation want to inspire and support a national conversation about our country - from our climate challenges to an America that lives up to its promise for all.
As individuals we often stop to reflect on the direction of our lives. So why not as a nation? After all, we the people are the collective expression of America. Reflection will focus our minds on what we have, on what is fair, and on how we can make our country better. Reflecting on our country is a win for all of us.
As Americans we are one people. Yet we live many different realities. In important ways, Americans do not know Americans. We tend to live in bubbles. Our program will help expand our sense of being an American, of walking in the shoes of other Americans, and of taping into the collective understanding of our nation.
The America I Want is... program is a grand experiment in civics. What Americans tell us they want will be indexed by subject, state, and region, thus creating an ever-expanding resource digital library. What do people in Alaska, Mississippi, or Maine want? You can go to our digital library to find out.
Just because things have always been one way doesn’t mean they must remain so. As Americans we have been born into a system. But who’s to say we can’t change it. Our state-by-state program links us with leaders in each state capable of turning what Americans want into actions.
For over 70 years America has been brilliant at tackled great challenges both at home and abroad. Today America faces two challenges like none before—a heating planet and domestic divisions. These challenges are intertwined. We must meet one if we hope to meet the other. Yet our national crisis is impeding us from tackling our existential crisis. “The America I Want is…” focuses on our domestic divisions. It’s a challenge well within our grasp and ready-made for American leadership.
Our inspiration comes from the Native North American tradition of the Talking Circle - our continent’s original example of participatory governance. Members gather to consider a question. Only the person holding the stick may speak. There is no argument or crosstalk — just listening. It is a way for each tribal member to understand what others are thinking and feeling. It is listening with the heart. We will respectfully bring this rich tradition to the country as a whole.
First Nations' Leaders DiscussTalking Circles and The Indigenous Worldview
America is a very large tribe. To include everybody, we have digitized the Talking Circle. We can now invite all Americans to hold the talking stick. And the rest of us will listen. We want to know what you want for America. It is an opportunity to embrace the great diversity of points of view, of backgrounds, and ways of being an American. It’s how we’re going to get to know each other.