I was in a recent discussion when someone made the comment, “We’ve created a world that no one wants to live in and it seems we’re all working very hard to keep that world going.” We nodded with the sense that he had named a sad truth. But there is hope.

In this brilliant and important TED talk, human rights lawyer and justice activist Bryan Stevenson explains that truth for me: how we in the United States live fundamentally divided lives. (And wherever you live, I suspect you will find ways to apply his points.)

He makes the case that our humanity, our identity, our integrity as individuals and as a society depend upon our capacity to pay attention to injustice.

In a timely and timeless way, Bryan challenges each of us to be more courageous:

“We have in this country this dynamic where we really don’t like to talk about our problems…We have a hard time talking about race, and I believe it’s because we are unwilling to commit ourselves to a process of truth and reconciliation.

“…Ultimately we are talking about a need to be more hopeful, more committed, more dedicated to the basic challenges of living in a complex world.

“Innovation, creativity, development comes not from the ideas in our mind alone. They come from the ideas in our mind that are also fueled by some conviction in our heart. And it’s that mind-heart connection that I believe compels us to not just be attentive to all the bright and dazzly things, but also the dark and difficult things.

“…Vaclav Havel, the great Czech leader, talked about this. He said, ‘When we were in Eastern Europe and dealing with oppression, we wanted all kinds of things, but mostly what we needed was hope, an orientation of the spirit, a willingness to sometimes be in hopeless places and be a witness.’”

Click the image above to watch his video and then consider:

How can you “be in hopeless places” with a hopeful spirit?

How do you cultivate a “mind-heart connection” that helps you commit to facing the truth?

terry-catalystWith gratitude,

Terry Chadsey
Executive Director

P.S. Explore your identity and integrity at a Courage & Renewal program.

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