LISTENING TO WHAT AMERICA
For over 70 years, America has been brilliant at tacking big challenges both at home and abroad. Today we face two challenges like none before—a heating planet and a divided country. These challenges are intertwined. We must meet one if we hope to meet the other. “The America I Want Is…” social media program is focused on repairing our domestic divisions, so that we can also give full attention to our existential crisis. It’s a challenge well within our grasp and in keeping with the spirit of our country.
“The America I want Is…” program is about individual expression, collective listening, and citizen involvement. It's a place to reflect on what we want for our country.
Our inspiration is the native, North American tradition of the Talking Circle. Tribal members gather to consider a question. Only the person with the talking stick may speak. There is no argument or crosstalk—simply listening. It is a way for each member to understand what other members of the tribe or band are thinking and feeling. It is listening with the heart. We are taking this rich, native tradition to America as a whole.
First Nations' Leaders DiscussTalking Circles
A Talking Circle will help us…
The Talking Circle offers a place to be heard. Everybody is equal, and everybody can have their say. It is a place to reflect on the diversity of our points of view.
In a Talking Circle you are not expected to respond. There are no interruptions. It allows you to focus on what the other person is actually saying. It is an exercise in real listening.
The Talking Circle will 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.
America is a very large nation. To include everybody, we have digitized the Talking Circle. Today we can invite all Americans to hold the talking stick. We want to know what you want for America. And the rest of us will listen. It’s an opportunity for all of us to embrace and accept the great diversity of points of view, of backgrounds, and of ways of being an American.