I’ve officially revolved 33 years around the sun today. Each annual marker of my place in the world gives me pause to think about the impact I make. Am I doing enough to make positive change? Am I taking up space where I shouldn’t? How do my actions or inactions affect my intimate and broader communities?
I do know that giving matters. That’s why Give!Guide is such a wonderful yearly program - it highlights so many of the incredible efforts of organizations and individuals striving for change and positive impact. This year, I’ll be giving back to at least one of the many organizations I admire - Oregon Humanities.
This season, all I hear on the radio is debate about debate - will families be talking politics over the dinner table this week? Corporations are creating games that supposedly remove the political element (as if red and blue Uno cards were really the cause of tension over Aunt Kathy’s comments during dessert). My opinion, discussion - and yes, debate - matters. Nothing gets resolved when people stay in their corners, their comfort bubbles; when they preach to their supportive choirs. We need to learn how to engage constructively in uncomfortable discussions with friends, family, and strangers. That’s where Oregon Humanities comes in. They provide that platform to discuss difficult topics, develop empathy and active listening, learn history, self-awareness, moderation, and mediation.
I was honored and humbled to be a part of an Oregon Humanities moderator training last year and have attended and participated in several of their Conversation Project events across the state. I highly recommend supporting Oregon Humanities through the 2019 Willamette Week Give!Guide and joining in on a conversation near you!