Wednesday, February 03, 2016

On Democracy and Habits of the Heart

Our religious communities — to say nothing of our schools...could make a vital contribution to democracy by teaching and practicing five habits of the heart on which so much depends:

1. An understanding that we are all in this together.
2. An appreciation of the value of "otherness."
3. An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways.
4. A sense of personal voice and agency.
5. A capacity to create community...

If I were asked for two words to summarize these habits of the heart citizens need to help democracy survive and thrive, I'd choose chutzpah and humility.

By chutzpah, I mean knowing that I have a voice that needs to be heard and the right to speak it. By humility, I mean accepting the fact that my truth is always I need to listen with openness and respect, especially to "the other."

Parker Palmer

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