Great Conversation(s) is really about two things:
It is about THE Great Conversation. The ongoing and timeless endeavor to explore important ideas in a free society. For centuries the singular aspect of a society which considers itself free and prosperous has been the ability of the citizenry to express themselves. Sometimes it’s through art, or song, or a speech, or a memo, or a book. We’ve spent at least 2500 years in the West, since the first stories of legendary heroes of old were debated and analyzed, discussing and debating the ideas which are important to humanity, to its successes and failures, to its prosperity or despair. Ideas regarding princes and peasants, the good and the evil, the sublime and the crass, the true and the false.
Secondly, this is about MANY Conversations. In order for the Great Conversation to continue, it takes many deliberations about these ideas. After all, we want to continue to grow, to progress, to persuade, to influence policy; but first we need to stop and listen. Listen to the people who disagree with us and understand why. Listen for opportunities for compromise and comity before seeking to go into battle for the “cause.” There is a lot of interest in the past decade (and for many decades prior) in protest, resistance, and rallies. Bullhorns come out; signs are hoisted, and there are “battle lines being drawn.” There is a time for those things. There is also a time to sit down and discuss, to understand, to reach out and use our common humanity to work through the ideas which affect us today to avoid the mistakes of the past, and prepare for the challenges of the future.
This is not easy. This takes time. It takes patience. It takes commitment. But it’s also really fun. There are Dinner (and “supper”) Clubs. “Living Room” Conversations (which occasionally take place in living rooms!), moderated forums and panel discussions, chess and book clubs… Some are focused on a certain topic or issue; others are more concerned with a broad base of knowledge. Whatever you’re interested in there is a place to plug into.
We at Great Conversations are committed to helping our community find opportunities to engage. In the meantime, we’re also committed to learn as much as we can about the leaders in our community, what they believe in, what they stand for, what their mission is. Elected officials, business leaders, non-profit leaders… all people in a position to make Loudoun a great place to be; we’re going to meet them here.
So join THE conversation…join A conversation, and stay tuned.