The Importance of Connection, Reflection and Action

When the world changes around us, especially unexpectedly, we are faced with so many questions. Some of us may wonder what this means for ourselves, our family, our community, our faith, and our work. Some of us may spiral into a whole spectrum of emotional responses – from numbness and disbelief to heartbreak and anger. Some might become absorbed in the media or hyper-conscious of how others around us are responding.

Like most of the world, the NWEI staff, board of directors, and community are going through this process.

This week has been a profound reminder of how complex our world is. We’ve been reflecting on how NWEI’s values offer up an intentional process designed to help communities facilitate and navigate change. We have read deeply heartfelt and eloquent responses from our friends in organizations around the country. To complement their messages, this actionable list of ways to cope in these times from our friends at YES! Magazine, and NWEI staff member Lacy Cagle’s blog post last week on the power of community, here are some simple ways we invite you to bring our model for change into your own lives. We encourage you to take time to connect, reflect and act.

Connect with… Self. Family and friends. Strangers. Neighbors. Nature.

Reflect on… Values. Purpose. Assumptions. Blind spots. Relationships. The interconnected systems at play in our world.

Act by… Standing with others. Interrupting discrimination. Supporting healing in those around us. Writing to decision makers. Convening our communities. Donating to causes we believe in. Seeking out deeper understanding. Being the change we wish to see in the world.

Connecting, reflecting, and acting is also a process for exploring differences by creating safety and building trust. It’s a somewhat radical response to break down walls and welcome all people into the circle who are willing to respectfully share their story. On the road ahead, we invite you to continue this critical work with us. It is challenging and deeply rewarding. We believe it is where and how true transformation can happen.

For nearly 24 years now, we have been helping you to connect with the people in your community to take action on the issues that matter. If you’re looking for a way to take action, our Seeing Systems: Peace, Justice and Sustainability discussion course is one tool that we would encourage you to consider.

In times of disillusionment, hope can be tough to find. Some nights may feel darker and longer than others. The morning still comes, and with it, opportunity. We look forward to greeting the morning with you and discovering new ways to create a world that is sustainable, equitable, and just.


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