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Finding Common Ground

Mon, Jun 8, 2015

John Hagan. SportsWise Solutions

Every Tuesday at high noon Russell, Vince and I meet at StreetWise to discuss issues involving four major sports- Football, Baseball, Basketball and Hockey.
Vince is the group leader. He is our play-by-play broadcaster. Vince is the home team supporter of the group. Whenever a Chicago team is involved, Vince always predicts Chicago teams will do well. He is also our comedian.
Russell is a man of few words, but what he contributes is powerful, strong and effective.
My role is to help with the information about how the sports are played, the rules, and other information about the different sports.
So with different points of view, different styles of communication and different opinions, you might wonder, “How do we make it work?”
Vince, Russell and I understand that what really matters is a good product, on a weekly basis, that our customers at who support StreetWise will enjoy. Our having different opinions makes the StreetWise podcast more entertaining. As the old saying goes, “When everyone agrees on everything it is not as interesting.”
That is why, if a diverse group can find a common focus, we learn that our different opinions are attractive and valuable.

Penelope G. My Mixed-Up Family

My eight children and seven grandchildren are ethnically different from each other. This has recently led to interesting discussions!
My first born son is Hispanic on his father’s side. I am of German and Irish descent.
The second child, my Prudence, was born of a father I do not know much about.
My third child is a son. His father is an African-American man.
The fourth, a son, is by the same father.
The fifth, a daughter, is named Mary Jane. I named her after my mother. I do not know who her father is.
The sixth child is a daughter named Gwen. Her father was an African American man. He and I were very much in love, but he died shortly after Gwen was born.
The seventh is a son named Jeffery. I do not know who Jeffrey’s father was.
The eighth, Jonathan, is my last child. His father was African American and Jamaican.
From these children I have six grandsons and one granddaughter. While they are of many races they all have one Granny, Me! Yesterday we were at the zoo and one of my grandsons asked me why he looks so different from me. He said, “why are our colors are so different?”My answer was that God makes us all different and God never makes a mistake.

James Metzgar Writing Group at StreetWise

I have enjoyed my time with the writer’s group at StreetWise. This group has given me the opportunity to share my long lifetime of experiences with others. It also gives me the opportunity to work with others who share their very different experiences with me.
Among our group there have been men and women of different religious, ethnic and racial groups. There have been so many different experiences shared.
Among those who have attended the workshop over the years are our instructor, various interns, today, our new executive director is attending, sometimes the editors of the magazine stop in, and always the vendor writers are here.
When we get together for the workshop our instructor introduces a writing topic which we discuss before we begin to write. After the discussion, we write and review editing with our instructor and the interns who are here to help us. When we are finished we try to find time to read our work to the group.
Although we are a diverse group, we find unity through respectful listening, discussing our different experiences, and writing our views on a shared topic.

A. Allen Different Groups – Same Goal

When I look at society I see many groups who separate themselves for different reasons.
There are Republicans and Democrats, Rich and Poor, Black and White. Regardless of the many ways we feel separate, we know we have common goals. We all want to live joyfully, peacefully, and with purpose.
Why so much violence then? Why so much crime? Why so much excessive force and violence by police officers against alleged criminals? How can this happen among people who have a common goal of harmony?
In my opinion, things of this nature happen when we give in to sudden, selfish impulse over powers of reason. The sudden, selfish impulse makes us grab for immediate gratification. We say to ourselves, “I don’t have to be right or good, just happy, right now!” We make terrible moral adjustments that have terrible, often violent consequences.
The higher self is not a selfish self. It seeks the benefit of all. It seeks the common goal. It is reasoned and controlled and patient. It looks at the big picture and realizes that everyone will be better off, everyone will be happier, more joyous and free, if we seek betterment for each other, instead of grabbing onto immediate, self-centered gratification.
As Rodney King once said,” Can we all just get along?”
I wish we could all help each other to live more productive, peaceful and useful lives.


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