Photo: Tom Tryon, Bronwyn Beightol, Dave Bullock, Carolyn Griffin, Rich Harwood

50 Do-Gooders in a Room

Posted on October 23, 2019 by Tom Tryon, opinion editor, Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Put about 50 do-gooders (not a pejorative) in a room for a Harwood Institute for several days, and what two themes overwhelmingly emerge?

My observations from a September summit:
1. Despair.
2. Hope.

There were clear and repeated expressions of despair over our nation's political, social, and cultural climates – a consensus that decades of progress, despite their incremental inadequacy, have been lost. Participants described barriers in their families and workplaces to civil and constructive conversations about the pressing issues of our time.

Despair is usually, if not always, viewed as the opposite of hope.

But, there was hope in the notion that individuals and communities can help elevate discussions and the quality of life for everyone – so long as we collectively and locally commit to dignity where we live and work, creating a foundation for looking outward while examining ourselves and actions inwardly.

There was hope, as well, in the expressed examples cited by summiteers of personal and communal change and the strong belief that progress must be generated by individuals and communities who have shared aspirations.

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