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Natural Awakenings Spokane WA/Coeur d'Alene ID

Finding Common Ground

Dec 14, 2017 04:46PM
Remember that time you were scrolling through your Facebook feed and you came across a political post that made you cringe, so you gave it the angry face emoji? Sorry, Uncle Bob. Or when your second cousin’s neighbor felt compelled to aggressively “correct” a status update you shared on a controversial topic? And now you hope your cousin never invites you to dinner for fear of running into that troll. Good times, right?

Wrong. These are polarizing times, and social media platforms have become a battleground. The perfect environment to engage in “us-vs-them” thinking. Cyberspace is where warring factions don’t have to see, feel or acknowledge the power or consequences of their weaponized words. Just drop a bomb from the comfort of a computer, and then off to dinner.

December’s issue is about defusing those bombs and learning how to engage conflict in a healthy and productive way. My good friend and colleague Dan Garrity teaches Broadcast Studies at Gonzaga University. He and his students hatched a clever plan to create a TV game show called Common Ground that teamed up two strangers with seemingly opposing political and social viewpoints. I was one of his guinea pigs on the show, and let’s just say their plan worked. It also landed me on the front page of the Spokesman-Review, LOL’ing with my teammate, Mike.

In addition, you will find a beautiful sidebar to our feature story on nonviolent communication by Unity Minister Dr. Jane Simmons. She writes about the work it takes to become and maintain peace in the midst of chaos.

And speaking of chaos, it’s the holidays! Natural Awakenings has your giving needs covered. Check out our extensive conscious gift guide featuring locally owned and operated businesses offering wellness-oriented gifts and services for everyone on your list—including your precious pet.

Dear readers, I hope you enter this final month of 2017 with a joyful heart and playful spirit. May you connect with friends and family in the most meaningful and authentic ways, and may those annoying social media posts help guide you to stop, take a deep breath and find your peace within. Maybe post a heart emoji instead of a frowny face. You’ve got to start somewhere.

In peace and health,


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