Please print the confirmation page on the registration site and bring with you as a ticket for entrance to the event. For additional information, please check our website, Facebook page, and blog
Send this invitation to everyone you know who may be interested. Thanks, and I hope to see you on August 27. Let’s show the world that we really can respect people who disagree with us on difficult issues and work together to find good solutions.
Jennifer Elwell, is the Director of Communications and Education for the Kentucky Corn Growers Association and the Kentucky Small Grain Growers Association. She is also involved with the national CommonGround program; she writes a monthly column for Kentucky’s farm newspaper, The Farmer’s Pride; and she contributed to Michele Payn-Knoper’s book, No More Food Fights. Jennifer grew up on a small farm near Jeffersontown, Ky., graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in agriculture, and has two children.
John Moody is an administrator for the Whole Life Buying Club in Louisville Kentucky, a board member for the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund and the Farm Food Freedom Coalition, and a farmer. He is author of the Food Club and Co-op Handbook, columnist for the Wise Traditions Journal of the Weston A. Price foundation, and speaks at conferences such as Mother Earth News. He is married to his lovely wife Jessica and with her shares the joys of raising four kids and living on a farm in rural Kentucky.
Seven Ground Rules for Political Discourse™
Video from Prior Events
The last 2 Ground Rules:
#6 – Outline reaslistc action steps for your views
- Always close political discourse with personal actions to take
– Do NOT suppress your concerns – SOLVE them
– The Seven Ground Rules are NOT about being “positive”, “polite”, or getting along
– The Seven Ground Rules are about finding solutions and taking action until our world is better
- Not everyone’s actions will be the same
– They may even be opposing
- Do something about your complaints!
#7 – Hold yourself and others accountable to words and commitments with consequences
- Be accountable for your own actions
- Respectfully challenge others on your team when their actions violate the ground rules
– Clarify exact ground rule being broken, without blame
– Model how to improve
- Give feedback humbly
– Must be given with a full underlying acceptance of the person as a competent comrade with good intentions
- Accept feedback graciously
I suppose if people actually saw politicians showing respect and taking responsibility for their actions, then the general public might be motivated to take action and hold themselves accountable. But are there really enough people in the Louisville, KY area that would embrace this concept? My fear is that people are too tied to either their opinion that they are right or their resistance to getting involved. To be painfully honest, my fear is that I might be too tied to being right to openly embrace these principles.
Now for Ground Rules 3 through 5:
#3 – Blame the process, not the person
- Blaming makes people defensive and keeps them from joining your problem solving team
- Blaming seemingly lets you off the hook from doing whatever is necessary to solve the problem
- BE ACCOUNTABLE for your own efforts to solve the problem, even in the absence of others doing their part
- Not blaming also involves considering the possibility that you do not have the absolute truth in the situation – what works for you may not work for them, and vice-versa
#4 – Clarify opinion from fact
- Speak in researched facts as much as possible
- No spreading false information as fact
- Inaccurate information leads to bad solutions
- When stating an opinion, announce it as an Opinion
- A fact: something that has actual existence
- Objective reality
- The words physically written in the Constitution – FACT
- A specific idea being Constitutional – OPINION
- The raw data from a survey – FACT
- ANY interpretation of what the data means – OPINION
#5 – Where there are moral philosophical differences, clarify without accusation and move on
- Political solutions are rooted in a world view, often regarding human nature and moral philosophy
- Do not accuse of a lower moral standard
- Do not assign a moral stance to another without their agreement
- Clarify moral definitions
- Admit and clarify where moral philosophies are different
- Clearly relate future discussions to differences in that moral philosophy, without accusation of the moral code
Don’t blame others? State facts as objective information and don’t just read the surveys and sources I agree with? No judgment on morals? How would this work?
Okay, I modified the Nine Ground Rules for Cohesive Team BehaviorTM into something I think we could use for political discussions. There are now Seven Ground Rules for Political DiscourseTM and here are the first two.
#1 – Show respect, assuming good motives
- Assume that everyone’s motives are for the good of the nation / state / people
- Never speak negatively behind someone’s back
- No speculation of people’s motives
- Apologize regularly, especially when crossing lines while fighting about issues
- Forgive freely, realizing that we are all just working for the good of the team
#2 – Do not complain without offering solutions
- The thing you are complaining about is the very problem that needs to be solved
- Valuable time and energy could be spent solving problems
- Every time you complain about someone or something, you cement the core cause of the problem instead of solving it
This seems awfully daunting. What would compel people to start showing respect and quit complaining?