During the June MASA Board of Directors retreat Youth Frontiers Executive Director Joe Cavanagh shared the following written by Margaret Wheatley. I hope you find this article insightful and that Margaret’s words resonate during a time in which you are immersed in unprecedented challenges often coming from extreme points of view.
“We live in a world of extremes and polarities. People take positions at the far edge of an issue and then scream across the distance they created.
Living at the extreme consumes enormous resources. We spend energy on justifying our position, on attacking our enemy, on defending our ground, on protecting our position.
Somewhere in all the fuor and drama, we’ve lost sight of the middle. Yet it’s in the middle where the possibilities reside. Some call the middle “compromise” or “consensus”-terms which have come to mean failure, mediocrity and loss. We don’t remember meeting in the middle as anything but negative.
Perhaps because we’re so addicted to strong emotions and loud noises to motivate us, we no longer seek the quiet space of center.
Notice where you’re positioned on an issue important to you. Are you sitting out on one side, justifying your behavior, assuming you’re right and others are wrong? Or are you open to the possibility that you can’t see very well from where you’re sitting, that you don’t know all the facts in the case?
Humility and curiosity is what shifts us to center. Just by being curious, we move toward the middle ground, with its fertile promise of new ideas and new relationships.”
*This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Joe Cavanaugh.