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We have just experienced the swearing in of Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States. Many of us are justifiably worried and/or fearful.  Others have a sense of anticipation and excitement. As citizens in an increasingly pluralistic and polarized country, I believe we are challenged to create more effective approaches to wrestle with critical and complex issues. Creative responses require taking new paths, participating in diverse coalitions, relinquishing traditional institutions and building new structures that will engender growth and reverence for life.  All of this assumes openness ~ surely not an easy task but a necessary one.

I believe this context calls us to interaction, dialogue, exchange of differences. Within these conversations, intense listening is essential – difficult as it may be to hear ideas and feelings that counter our own.  The issues are critical to us, to our neighbors and to our global community – in other words to the COMMON GOOD. Critical issues include climate change, racism, immigration, women’s rights, and workers’ rights. (Included in previous blogs.) Do you see these and/or other issues as central to a much-needed dialogue?  What are your priority issues?

Our world needs alternatives! As many of us strive to create a better future for ourselves and future generations we need to be alert to the signals that offer both signs of the demise of institutions that are no longer viable and to recognize the signs of the newness being created.  Signs of systemic change become evident when people contribute from a vision that respects human dignity and earth.

January 21, 2017 – the Women’s March – occurred with millions marching in the United States and around our world –  a terrific manifestation of global solidarity upholding justice values, especially that of the dignity and humanity of women.

I invite you to join me and others as we participate in ongoing analysis, reflection and strategies for change. The PARADIGM CAN BE SHIFTED!

Along with family, friends, coworkers and neighbors many additional invitations, actions and suggestions exist. A brief sampling –